Republican Rep. [crscore]Joe Wilson[/crscore] introduced a bill Monday night to make the main federal agency tasked with revolving labor disputes less biased in favor of unions.
The National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) was established to help resolve workplace disputes. Critics, however, argue under President Barack Obama the agency has become extremely biased in favor of labor unions. In response, Republican lawmakers have moved to rein in its authority. In the most recent effort, Wilson introduced NLRB Reform Act.
“For too long, the partisan nature of the National Labor Relations Board has caused instability,” Wilson said in a statement to The Daily Caller News Foundation. “Businesses, employees, and American families need stability and to be treated fairly in the workplace.”
It was procedural changes the NLRB has pursued which prompted the most concern. Mainly changes in union elections along with how contracting between businesses it done. Critics, though, also claim the board has shown a clear bias when resolving individual labor disputes. For Wilson, it is a case involving Boeing out of his state of South Carolina.
“Unfortunately, the President’s ‘Big Labor Bully’ has constantly abused its authority by overregulating and restricting right-to-work states,” Wilson continued. “South Carolina has seen first-hand the harmful effects of an activist NLRB after they attempted to stall Boeing’s expansion in our state, threatening thousands of jobs at the site and for subcontractors in the Second Congressional District.”
The bill hopes to end partisan advocacy by making NLRB a six-member board. Currently it has five members with the deciding vote picked by the sitting president. If the measure passes, the board will consist of three Democrats and three Republicans. Any decision will require a majority of four.
“A non-partisan board would restore fairness and protect the rights of workers and allow for growth in our private sector through job creation,” Wilson concluded. “South Carolina knows the benefits for workers of being non-union with the right-to-work law, which resulted in our state being America’s leading exporter of cars and manufacturer and exporter of tires.”
The measure will also rein in the NLRB general counsel by giving parties involved in a labor dispute the ability to request review from federal district court. Additionally, the bill will require the NLRB to make decisions within a year.
Some labor unions are already coming out against the measure. Teamsters claims it will lessen the agency’s ability to intervene and fix workplace disputes.
“Even as income inequality grows while corporate profits soar, elected officials like Rep. Joe Wilson (R-S.C.) seem to believe corporations deserve less oversight and more breaks,” Teamsters declared on its blog. “Rep. Wilson seems to bemoan the existence of unions.”
Previous attempts to challenge the NLRB have been unsuccessful for the most part. Proposed measures have been vetoed by the president. Lawsuits filed against the NLRB by the business community have also made little impact.
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