Time to correct off-course labor board

There are many reasons why individuals choose to go into business in this country. We are blessed to have many freedoms here, including the ability to choose in which state to operate our businesses. Unfortunately — and somewhat typically — the Obama administration’s National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) is now attempting to govern such basic entrepreneurial economic decisions.

Recently, the NLRB filed a complaint to stop Boeing from completing a new aircraft assembly plant in South Carolina, a right-to-work state and one that is generally friendly to business. The reason? Obama’s labor board says the company shouldn’t be free to operate in its interests, despite having faced years of costly strikes by militant unionized employees in Washington State.

Now, you may not work in an airplane factory and it’s even less likely that you own an aircraft company. But the federal government’s attempt to tell one company which states it can and cannot do business in is a threat to the free enterprise system that has been the fertile soil of this nation’s economic strength for decades.

So put yourself in the position of an entrepreneur. If you currently own a business or have ever thought about it, imagine if you did everything in step with every current regulation, permit, law and rule. You not only fill out massive numbers of red-tape forms, but also wait weeks — if not months — on end for the necessary government approvals. After finally navigating these hurdles, you invest heavily in property, buy expensive specialized machinery and tools, and even begin the hiring process. All the hassle and government bureaucracy is ultimately worth it, as you know you will be able to do good business, benefit the economy by adding new jobs, and make a nice profit (which, contrary to what many people in our nation’s capital believe, is not a dirty word).

But then the federal government steps in and says that you must stop because you do not have the approval of a union in a completely different state. They are, in fact, telling you where and how to run your business.

This outrageous action — while not completely unsurprising given the board’s recent blatant Big Labor activism — will send chills throughout the economy if allowed to stand. For an administration that talks so much about creating jobs and not strangling business, the NLRB’s actions speak to an opposite intent.

A few months ago, I was among those who spoke out about how the NLRB was abusing its statutory limitations and should have its funding reviewed. Unfortunately, while it was examined and hearings were held, no serious action has been taken. In fact, not only has the NLRB made this unprecedented action against Boeing, but it has also moved forward on bringing lawsuits against the handful of states where voters approved initiatives in November to cement the right to a secret ballot in their state constitutions (the first complaint was filed this month against Arizona).

The action against Boeing is not an isolated event; indeed, it is only the latest symptom of a greater problem. Obama’s board has curtailed the rights of employees to seek a secret ballot election, shortened the period of time employees and employers may discuss important issues before an election, granted paid union organizers unprecedented access onto private property, cherry-picked employees to form a swarm of micro-union organizing drives that will drive small businesses out of business, and opened charter schools to greater unionization.

If we are serious about righting this economy and enabling lasting job creation, we must not only cut spending and balance the budget but also eliminate actions that strangle business people from being successful. It’s time to ground an agency that refuses to straighten up and fly right.

Brett McMahon is Vice President at Miller & Long Concrete Construction and a spokesman for the Halt The Assault campaign.

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  • DilloTank

    Predatory Capitalists? Wow!

    Sounds like you think jobs just magically spring up out or nowhere and we can just print more money to pay you and your union friends more money and everything will just magically work out.

    People like you scare me Joe.

  • Joe Steel

    Almost since the founding of the American Republic, capitalists and their stooges have been attacking Americans. The NLRB is one of the few entities available for us to defend ourselves. Any attack on the NLRB should be considered an attack on America itself. In fact, not only should we protect it from predatory capitalism, we should give the NLRB a legislative veto. No bill should be allowed to pass into law without the approval of the NLRB.

    • kmacwayne

      If you are using the NLRB to defend yourself you need a check up from the neck up. “Predatory Capitalism” is that what you call a business planning to provide thousands of jobs to AMERICANS? The “predators” my dear Joe are your beloved labor unions and their salaries – they do not care about you any more than Obama does – wake up and smell the slag. BTW – how’s the steel business in America these days Joe?

      • Joe Steel

        kmacwayne sid: “BTW — how’s the steel business in America these days Joe?

        I don’t know. Ask the capitalists who offshored it and the thousands of American jobs they sent with it. Of course, if the NLRB had been empowered as I think it should have been, it would have vetoed the move and saved the jobs.

    • benhad

      Right to work states don’t ban unions. They just make joining unions voluntary, not mandatory.

  • Scrap Iron

    Well, its not like Boeing is closing its plants in Washington. They just want to open a NEW plant in a state where everyone will be happy (except the union).

  • flips

    Teabaggers’ new strategy.

    Fire the referee.

    You people are sick in the head.

    • Scrap Iron

      Its not that TEA party members want to fir e the ref, we just don’t like having the rules changed in the middle of the game.


    • kmacwayne

      Lets say you own 10 hotdog stands. One day a Hot Dog Vendor union opens in your town and all of the sudden you have to pay your employees three times what the earn now and provide benefits or risk them poisoning your food, or worse, to blackmail you into agreeing. All that aside, you manage to raise your price to the public enough to pay for this – then your son or daughter graduates high school and you want to set them up in the hot dog business. You decide to do it in Bozeman Montana, buy the carts, buy the product and hire the labor – BUT – your pals in your original town decide they don’t like the idea that Bozeman does not have unions that THEY CAN SUCK MONEY FROM – so they complain to their PALS at the NLRB ( those freedom fighters for Americans Joe Steel loves so much) – just like that – all your hard work, planning, cost and future go up in smoke – because of the NLRB and Unions. Get a grip Flip – look at this for what it really is and not what Huffpo or MoveOn tells you it is.