Congressional Democrats Launch Attack on NLRB Decisions

On December 13, House and Senate Democrats held a joint subcommittee hearing, criticizing the National Labor Relations Board for a spate of decisions that the Democrats claim undermine workers’ rights to unionize. 

The Democrats voiced their concern over a spate of cases the Board has issued in recent months, including the Dana Corp. decision which has been discussed extensively on this blog.

Sen. Edward Kennedy stated that the Board “is no longer fulfilling its responsibility to protect the voice of American workers.” Kennedy also claimed that the Board has engaged in “an unprecedented rollback” in the protection of workers rights during the past five years.

Given the appointment process of Board members, the NLRB is an inherently political organization, and can be an easy political target. At the same time, the Board is charged with interpreting and ensuring compliance with the NLRA. Recently, Congress and unions seem more preoccupied with blaming the Board for widespread union woes in the country, when in fact, unions should be looking inward to examine their own shortcomings in appealing to workers instead.    

Although this hearing was likely a one-time event, expect to hear more about recent Board rulings affecting union elections, especially as the Presidential Primaries gear up in the next few weeks. 

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