The Competitive Enterprise Institute slammed federal regulators Tuesday for unfairly benefiting unions.
In their Free to Prosper report, CEI offered numerous reform proposals aimed at strengthening the economy, increasing transparency and promoting fair competition. While making these policy recommendations, CEI condemned the National Labor Relations Board for making decisions that benefit labor unions over employees and the companies for which they work.
“Members appointed to the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB), nearly exclusively, come from the organized labor or management-side law firm ranks,” the report noted. “As a result, board policy swings like a pendulum.”
The report details the Ambush Election Rule, Monopoly Bargaining and the Joint Employer Decision as some of the more recent examples of how the NLRB has benefited unions and democrat interests under the Obama administration.
Aloysius Hogan, a senior fellow at CEI, argues that the Joint Employer ruling hurts businesses and workers in several ways while giving unjust advantages to unions and special interests.
Last year, the NLRB ruled after a case involving McDonald’s that franchisors can be considered “joint employers” with the individual franchisees to which they contract. Critics have argued that the decision has the potential to dramatically overturn decades of established laws and greatly affect the franchise model from restaurants to other small businesses that contract with a larger brand name.
“I think it’s very dangerous,” Hogan tells The Daily Caller News Foundation, noting that he is particularly concerned over how broad their criteria are. He argues that everyone from temp agencies to contractors could potentially be considered joint employer with the other company they are working with because of their economic relationship.
“Really, if you have an economic relationship with another company, that is enough,” Hogan notes. “It makes it a lot easier to unionize the franchisor as well as the franchisee.”
Prior to the ruling, if a labor dispute happened at a business that contracts with a larger franchisor, the owners of that business would be held responsible for the issue. However, the ruling makes both the individual business and the franchisor they contract with owners so both would be responsible for the labor dispute. This in turn makes it easier for unions to pressure the franchisor to unionize.
“What they want is to transform the fabric of America from small businesses to big businesses,” Hogan declared.
Hogan goes onto note the Ambush Election Rule as a recent decision by the NLRB that unfairly benefit unions. According to the NLRB, the new rule was to help modernize the union election process but opponents have argued it will deprive employers of their right to explain the impacts of unionizing.
Hogan notes that among the worse labor policies that should be repealed is Union Monopoly Bargaining. The report details, “Under the National Labor Relations Act, a worker’s freedom to choose how he or she is represented in the workplace is restricted by the principle known as exclusive representation. That restriction should be lifted.”
“It’s really not in keeping with freedom of association,” Hogan notes. “If you don’t want to join a union, you shouldn’t have to.”
To address many of the problems that exist in labor policy today, including those that the NLRB has caused, Hogan advocates for passing The Employee Rights Act.
The report details that the passage of such an act, “Would amend Section 9(a) of the NLRA to guarantee workers a secret-ballot election when voting on union representation. Currently, a union may organize workers in two ways: by secret- ballot election or by the procedure known as card check.”
“I call it the all-star bill because it has several bills in it,” Hogan notes. “It’s a good bill across the board.”
Additionally such an act will help, “ensure that workers continue to desire union representation and new workers have a say in their own representation, the ERA amends the NLRA to require union recertification elections conducted by secret ballot once the workforce has turned over by more than 50 percent since the last election.”
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