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Entries in WFI (70)

Saturday
Jan262013

WFI Reacts To D.C. Circuit Court Ruling 

Obama Labor Board Recess Appointments Unconstitutional

 

Washington, D.C. (January 25, 2013) – The Workforce Fairness Institute (WFI) today issued the following statement in response to the ruling by the U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit:

Today, the ruling by the U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit concerning the recess appointments of Richard Griffin and Sharon Block to the National Labor Relations Board is a victory for workers and business owners across the country,” said Fred Wszolek, spokesperson for the Workforce Fairness Institute (WFI).  “During their tenure, Griffin and Block have worked to advance the interests of Big Labor bosses to the detriment of American employees and employers.  It is now time for President Obama and his administration to stop playing politics with the NLRB, work with Congress and respect its role of advice and consent, and adhere to the U.S. Constitution.”

The Workforce Fairness Institute is an organization committed to educating voters, employers, employees and citizens about issues affecting the workplace.  To learn more, please visit: http://www.workforcefairness.com.

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http://townhall.com/columnists/fredwszolek/2013/01/25/the-nlrb-makes-the-case-against-itself-n1496643

 

The NLRB Makes The Case Against Itself

 

By Fred Wszolek

Townhall

January 25, 2013

 

The National Labor Relations Board’s (NLRB) Summary of Operations for fiscal year 2012, released last week, shows an agency that is significantly over-funded. In 2010, the Obama Administration increased the agency’s budget even though it previously operated with a fiscal year-end surplus. Now, the operating report reveals that the agency’s business continues to erode with the decline of unionization in the private sector making its increased appropriation even more unnecessary than it was in 2010.

According to the report, issued by Acting General Counsel Lafe Solomon, total case intake decreased by three percent; unfair labor practice case intake decreased by 2.5 percent; representation case intake decreased by 6.5 percent; and petitions filed in certification and decertification cases decreased by 5.7 percent.

So while federal government spending is at an unsustainable level, the NLRB is receiving taxpayer funds it does not need. Considering that this Board has boldly ignored its obligation to be neutral on the question of unionization and has issued job-killing decision after job-killing decision, why should the American taxpayer continue to subsidize its operations much less over subsidize them?

For example, the Board overturned long-standing precedent and authorized the creation of small bargaining units called “micro-unions” – some as small as two or three members – which threaten to balkanize the workplace and undermine collective bargaining. While unsaid, the NLRB’s reason: it is easier to persuade a smaller number of people to vote for the union than it is a larger number.

Obama’s Labor Board also promulgated an “ambush” election rule, which cuts roughly in half the time for an election. If ever implemented the rule will limit the ability of employers to secure legal counsel and express their views on unionization to their employees. And it will deprive employees of their right to hear their employer’s views and make an informed choice. Fortunately, a U.S. District Court judge declared the rule was unlawful. The rule was promulgated by two Board members who in their haste to serve the interests of Big Labor bosses did not wait for the vote of the third member, which was necessary for the government agency to have a quorum to act.

The operating report also shows, once again, that the “ambush” election rule is as unnecessary as it is misguided. According to the report, Board elections take place in a remarkably timely fashion: “93.9% of all initial elections were conducted within 56 days of the filing of the petition” and “initial elections in union representation elections were conducted in a median of 38 days from the filing of the petition.”

But there are still other reasons to question the level of the NLRB’s appropriation. The Board is currently operating with three members of the same political party without the constraint imposed by a former long-standing practice that required a Board of at least four members to issue a major decision. That practice, followed with rare exception since 1947, added credibility to major Board decisions because it assured participation in the decision of a member from the minority party. The practice was discontinued by current Chairman Mark Pearce and former Chairman Wilma Liebman in a 2010 decision in which they denied that the practice ever existed.

Also, one of the three NLRB members, Richard Griffin, is enmeshed in controversy over his former role as general counsel of the International Union of Operating Engineers (IUOE). According to Fox News, “[t]he rap sheet for members of the International Union of Operating Engineers reads like something out of ‘Goodfellas.’ Embezzlement. Wire fraud. Bribery. That’s just scratching the surface of crimes committed by the IUOE ranks.”

Griffin was recently named as a defendant in a federal racketeering lawsuit. According toThe Wall Street Journal, the complaint “describes a ‘scheme to defraud [the local] out of revenue, cost savings and membership,’ by means of kickbacks, bribery, violent threats and extortion. The suit names dozens of IUOE officials as defendants, and Mr. Griffin is highlighted in a section describing embezzlement and its subsequent hush-up.”

In sum, there are ample reasons for lawmakers in Washington to follow through on their rhetoric to pare down the size of government. Reducing the appropriation given an over-funded, out-of-control National Labor Relations Board is a logical place to start.

Monday
Mar262012

WFI - Union Boss Violence and Intimidation 

Today, the Workforce Fairness Institute released their first in a series of videos chronicling left-wing intimidation, including unions showing up at people’s houses to harass them and their families.


According to Erick Erickson of Red State, "[t]he videos document a growing trend in American civic discourse — the use of intimidation against private citizens to punish dissent.... The left is trying to shut down the opposition. When they were out of power, dissent was patriotic. Now that they are in power, they want to use both the state and intimidate in the public square to shut down opposing views. It goes beyond boycotts to financially intimate those who disagree with them. Now, the left is showing up at the private homes of American citizens they disagree with to intimidate them, threaten them, harass them, and make them pay for daring to have a different view."
Saturday
Mar242012

WFI - Taxpayer-Funded Government Agency Does Big Labor’s Bid ding Promoting Unionization 

Washington, D.C. (February 14, 2012)  – The Workforce Fairness Institute (WFI) today released the following statement in response to news reports that the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) will undertake an effort to promote unionization in private sector businesses:
 
“Instead of working to ‘avoid redundant, conflicting, or overly burdensome requirements’ as prescribed just a few days ago by the administrator of the White House Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs, President Obama’s labor board is desperately seeking to promote Big Labor’s interests in private sector workplaces,” said Fred Wszolek, spokesperson for the Workforce Fairness Institute (WFI).  “With our nation’s debt growing, this most recent overreach by the National Labor Relations Board should send a signal to lawmakers that the so-called ‘independent’ agency’s budget merits serious scrutiny.  An effort that uses taxpayer dollars to promote the interests of union bosses who have stated they intend to spend nearly half a billion dollars this November illustrates perfectly just how misguided and irresponsible the unelected bureaucrats at the NLRB have become.  While couching their latest giveaway as a means to protect workers, the reality is that it protects the interests of President Obama’s political benefactors and has been timed to launch just as an another gross overreach by the agency requiring businesses to post pro-labor propaganda takes effect.”
 
 
BACKGROUND:
 
“Worker Rights Get Promotional Drive”:
 
“Federal regulators are preparing a drive to tell workers at nonunionized businesses they have many of the same rights as union members, a move that could prompt more workers to complain to employers about grievances ranging from pay and work hours to job safety and management misconduct.  The National Labor Relations Board will focus on workers’ rights to engage in ‘protected concerted activity,’ which allow two or more employees to take action for their mutual aid or protection, NLRB Chairman Mark Pearce said in an interview … In the next two weeks, the NLRB is set to roll out a Web page explaining ‘concerted activity’ and highlighting cases involving unlawful punishment for it.  It also plans pamphlets in English and Spanish that will be distributed through worker-advocacy groups and sister federal agencies, such as the Labor Department. NLRB officials will address the issue in speeches and appearances on radio and television … The timing of the new Web page is convenient for the NLRB: Its Web traffic could get a boost April 30, when a rule it finalized last year takes effect.  The rule requires millions of private-sector employers to hang posters at their worksites about employee rights.  The posters list the agency’s Web address and toll-free number, and advises workers to ‘promptly’ contact the NLRB with suspected violations.” (Melanie Trottman, “Worker Rights Get Promotional Drive,” The Wall Street Journal, 3/22/12)
 
White House Office Of Information & Regulatory Affairs Telling Agencies To Avoid Redundant, Conflicting Or Overly Burdensome Requirements:
 
“EXCLUSIVE: Amid criticism from the right that the administration still has too heavy a hand, the White House opens a new phase in its continuing campaign to cut back on unnecessary regulations:
 
“A senior Office of Management and Budget official: ‘Last January, the President ordered an unprecedented government-review of existing rules. … [O]ver two dozen agencies have released ambitious reform plans, outlining hundreds of cost-saving reforms.  A small fraction of those reforms, already finalized or formally proposed to the public, will save more than $10 billion over the next five years.  Today, … OIRA [White House Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs] is issuing guidance telling agencies that they need to work on the front end, with the public and stakeholders, to avoid redundant, conflicting, or overly burdensome requirements.  A rule that in isolation may seem perfectly sensible may overlap with existing requirements in problematic ways, especially for small businesses and startups.  Going forward, agencies will have to keep the big picture of cumulative effects in mind when writing rules.’
 
“From the 2-page guidance, ‘Cumulative Effects of Regulations’: ‘[T]he cumulative effects on small businesses and start-ups deserve particular attention.’”
 
 
Big Labor To Spend $400 Million Dollars For Obama During 2012 Presidential Election:
 
“Unions are gearing up to spend more than $400 million to help re-elect President Barack Obama and lift Democrats this election year in a fight for labor’s survival.” (Sam Hananel, “Unions Gearing Up To Spend Big In 2012 Election,” The Associated Press, 2/22/12)
 

The Workforce Fairness Institute is an organization committed to educating voters, employers, employees and citizens about issues affecting the workplace. To learn more, please visit: http://www.workforcefairness.com.

Saturday
Mar102012

WFI Sends NLRB Letter Concerning Annual Report 

The Honorable Mark Pearce
Chairman
National Labor Relations Board
1099 14th Street, NW
Washington, DC 20510
 
The Honorable Lafe Solomon
Acting General Counsel
National Labor Relations Board
1099 14th Street, NW
Washington, DC 20510         
 
Dear Chairman Pearce & Acting General Counsel Solomon:
 
The Workforce Fairness Institute (WFI) is an organization devoted to educating workers, their employers and citizens in general on important issues affecting the workplace. 
 
Board’s Publication Of Annual Reports
 
We write to inquire about the decision of the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB or Board) not to continue publishing Annual Reports.  It appears the seventy-fourth Annual Report issued for the fiscal year ending September 30, 2009 was the last.  This came to our attention when we were looking for statistical information on the Board’s web site. 
 
We are aware that the Board’s obligation to Congress to issue Annual Reports ended with the 2009 report.  However, we think you will agree, the reports contain very useful information presented in an easy to use format and over the last seven and one-half decades they have become a valuable resource relied upon by workers, unions and employers, as well as members of the press and public.
 
Very recently, the NLRB posted on its web site most, but not all, of the tables previously provided in its Annual Reports and a few of the charts containing information on its Fiscal Year 2010 activities.
 
Among the tables not currently available are the following: Proceedings Decided by Circuit Courts of Appeals on Petitions for Enforcement and/or Review of Board Orders (with a comparison over the previous five years); Injunction Litigation Under Sections 10 (e), 10 (j) and 10 (l); Special Litigation Involving NLRB, Outcome of Proceeding in which Court Decisions issued in Fiscal Year 2009; Advisory Opinion Cases Received, Closed and Pending; and NLRB Activity Under the Equal Access to Justice Act.  
 
Of the 16 charts previously provided, only five are now available and they are not easily found.  The charts not posted include ones showing the Median Days from Filing to Complaint and the Time Required to Process Representation Cases from Filing of Petition to Issuance of Decision. 
 
The information not currently being made available is important for a variety of reasons including: it demonstrates the Board’s current success before the Circuit Courts of Appeals and compares it with prior years; it sheds light on whether the Board had a need to change its election procedures as it did last December; it provides a complete picture of the agency’s productivity. 
 
Request To Continue Publication Of Annual Reports & To Provide Data In The Interim     
               
We urge the Board to continue publication of its Annual Reports and, pending publication of a 2011 Annual Report, to post on its web site all of the tables and charts that would have been provided in a 2010 Annual Report and that will be provided in the 2011 report.  As mentioned, the reports are the window into the agency’s operations.  They comprehensively summarize and explain the agency’s operations comparing it with prior years and have come to be relied upon by those it serves.  They are a valuable resource for the public and Congress that is charged with overseeing the agency’s operations. 
 
We strongly believe the Annual Reports with their narrative sections are far more valuable than simply providing the raw data in tables and charts.  While the tables and charts may be helpful for those familiar with the Board, the full report with its explanatory narratives is far superior particularly for members of the public and those who do not practice before the NLRB and are unfamiliar with its processes and procedures. 
 
President Obama’s Memorandum On Transparency & Open Government
 
In President Obama’s Memorandum on Transparency and Open Government issued on January 21, 2009, he made a commitment that his Administration and its executive departments and agencies would reach a new level of transparency that “promotes accountability and provides information for citizens about what their Government is doing.”  According to the President, these departments and agencies would be charged with the responsibility for “disclos[ing] information rapidly in forms that the public can readily find and use.”  It seems to us that ceasing publication of the agency’s Annual Reports is inconsistent with this commitment.
 
This is not to say that future reports must be identical in form or that they must be published in hard copy.  Efforts should continue to be made to provide the information at the least cost to taxpayers.     
 
Conclusion
 
The Workforce Fairness Institute formally requests that the NLRB issue its Annual Report for 2011 and, pending its issuance, make available on its web site for 2010 and 2011 all the tables and charts previously provided in its Annual Reports.
 
Thank you for your consideration to this request.  We look forward to your reply.   
 
Sincerely,
 
Fred Wszolek
Workforce Fairness Institute (WFI)
Sunday
Jan152012

WFI - Group Petitions White House Website to Rescind Recess Appts

Please sign the petition that is on The White House webpage asking the president to follow the Constitution and rescind the recess appointments to the NLRB.

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Group Petitions WH Website to Rescind Recess Appts

Washington Examiner

Philip Klein

January 12, 2012

http://campaign2012.washingtonexaminer.com/blogs/beltway-confidential/group-petitions-wh-website-rescind-recess-appts/309381

A group that fights the abusive influence of big labor on workers and businesses has taken to theWhite House's "We the People" petition website to urge him to rescind his recess appointments to the National Labor Relations Board, which took place when the Senate was not actually in recess.

"President Obama’s recent appointments to the National Labor Relations Board are unfair and unconstitutional," the petition, which comes from the Workforce Fairness Institute, reads. "He must rescind them immediately."

Though WFI does not expect Obama to change his mind, they hope to collect at least 25,000 signatures to “raise some noise and raise the stakes on his turf.”