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HEATHER GREENAWAY: The Biden Admin Doesn’t Want You Criticizing Labor Unions

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Heather Greenaway Executive Director, Workforce Fairness Institute
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A National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) judge ruled this month that innocuous comments made by Amazon CEO Andy Jassy to the media, simply voicing his opinion on some of what he believes are the downsides of unionization, constituted an actual violation of federal labor law. A threat to Amazon employees, it was ruled.

Excuse me? (RELATED: CHARLYCE BOZZELLO: Here’s How One Of America’s Most Powerful Unions Turned On Israel)

Originally tasked with the responsibility for impartiality in enforcing the National Labor Relations Act, Chairman Lauren McFerran’s NLRB is setting an activist, agenda-driven precedent which should be of high concern to C-suites across America and is a cause for serious alarm for small employers. For the Jassy demonization we write of here is just the latest example that the NLRB has lost its way, having taken a hard left when it was supposed to be going straight.

Writing in The Hill late last month, former Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) chief counsel and longtime labor counsel to U.S. senators Matthew Mimnaugh took the NLRB to task for having “abdicated its responsibility to serve as an impartial arbiter…[opting] instead to undermine workers by adopting a posture of servitude to labor unions and their special interests.”

Coming less than a week after Mimnaugh’s aforementioned observations, the unsettling Jassy ruling simply served to underscore his point.

NLRB administrative law Judge Brian Gee wrote in his ruling that “Jassy’s comments threatened employees that, if they selected a union, they would become less empowered and would find it harder to get things done quickly.”


So, what exactly did Jassy utter to a reporter in 2022 that was so heinously threatening to his employees?

In a May 1 article, Bloomberg Law summarized the answer:

“Gee cited various comments Jassy made in 2022, including telling CNBC that making workplace improvements is ‘much slower’ with a union and saying at a New York Times conference that employees without a union are ‘better off’ because ‘it’s not bureaucratic.’”

“Gee also cited Jassy for telling the Bloomberg Technology Summit that in a union shop, ‘if you see something on the line that you think could be better for your team or you or your customers, you can’t just go to your manager and say, ‘Let’s change it.’”

Jassy was opposing and arguing against — not threatening to punish. And that is that.

Sharing an opinion about the future direction of your company and what a major shift such as unionization would mean for said company’s efficiency at a conference or to a reporter is not a threat. Or at least it wasn’t. It is now, according to the NLRB.

As I alluded to earlier, this is not just a highly unfortunate development for Jassy. The NLRB could set a precedent with this ruling to the undoubted delight and benefit of big labor. All employers should be weary of this decision and others emanating from the brave new world that is McFerran’s NLRB, which are allowing for workplaces to be compromised to benefit the agenda of its political allies.

The pro-union agenda continues, business owners should be mindful of the NLRB’s aggressive and hostile posture toward employers. They are the real target of this unjust ruling. The message to them is loud and clear: If we can take on Amazon, we can take you on. And there’s nothing you can do about it.

Heather Greenaway is a national spokesperson for the Workforce Fairness Institute.

The views and opinions expressed in this commentary are those of the author and do not reflect the official position of the Daily Caller News Foundation.

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