Opinion

No more checks to card check board

Photo of Brett McMahon
Brett McMahon
President, Miller and Long DC

Like any fiscal conservative furious about runaway government spending, I have a wish list of programs (and some whole departments) that could be trimmed or eliminated. These usually are the classic government bloat, elected representatives’ pet programs, or simply areas where local governments or private enterprises could provide more efficient and better services.

But for the most part, besides affecting my appetite as I watch the government sock future generations with crippling debt, few of these programs directly attack my ability to run a company and keep people working.

That is, except for a government agency called the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB). By now, many simply know it as the federal body pushing “card check” by regulation after Big Labor couldn’t kill secret ballots through Congress. Digging deeper, though, the NLRB claims it is “an independent federal agency vested with the power to safeguard employees’ rights to organize and to determine whether to have unions as their bargaining representative.”

But an organization that sounds as American as apple pie continually pushes its statutory limitations to harm employees and employers, clearly violating President Obama’s own recently stated goal to unburden businesses.

Now, thanks to the hard work of a few leading legislators and the determination of grassroots activists, there may be some light at the end of this tunnel. On Tuesday, The Daily Caller reported that Republicans are likely to push for budget cuts to NLRB soon:

One of the concerns [Rep. John Kline] and other top Republicans have with the NLRB is that the historically politically neutral board is shifting into the advocacy realm.

Many of these overreaching efforts have been the result of former SEIU attorney Craig Becker’s appointment to the board. No one has embodied government overreach like Craig Becker, who has used his seat on the NLRB to push Big Labor’s agenda at the expense of employees and small businesses.

Americans want some pretty simple things: a better economy with more jobs, a government that doesn’t impede economic progress, and basic fairness. The NLRB continues to work to doom all of these goals.

For instance, in the last year alone, the Board has pushed unprecedented and disruptive changes to labor laws, including: stripping the right to secret ballots in cases where an employer signs an agreement; providing union agents with access to an employer‘s property, even where the union is there simply to harm the business; potentially opening the door to card check drives at charter schools; and even authorizing the NLRB’s general counsel to sue states in which voters have attempted to protect secret ballots.

The plan to scale back the budget of the NLRB is music to business owners’ ears. We are tired of overreaching bureaucrats using our own money directly against us.

That is what we mean when we demand a Halt to the Assault on American small business.

Brett McMahon is a spokesman for the Free Enterprise Alliance’s Halt The Assault campaign.