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Federal regulators are out of control

The National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) has announced a new mandate on private sector employers requiring them to prominently display posters that outline employees’ rights to join a union.

Let me start with what I truly believe the vast majority of Americans want to see result from our leaders in Washington in this economy: jobs.

Businesses want an administration that will encourage increased production and that will spur consumers to purchase goods and services. That’s pretty straightforward.

How are they doing so far?

To help us create new jobs, here’s what the NLRB will mandate private-sector business across this country to do on Nov. 14, 2011. Remember as you read this that we sent these folks to Washington to get us on the road to recovery, not to impose ideology.

The requirement: Post on your business bulletin boards an 11 in. by 17 in. poster which informs your employees of their rights to:

1. Organize a labor union to negotiate with the employer on wages, hours and other terms and conditions of employment.
2. Form, join or assist a labor union.
3. Bargain with employer collectively.
4. Discuss wages and benefits with union organizing co-workers and unions.
5. Collectively complain to employer or government regulatory agencies about working conditions.
6. Strike and picket.
7. Refrain from all of the above.

Employers’ rights on this poster are restricted to a notice that if the employers fail to post the NLRB’s notice, they will be guilty of an unfair labor practice and subject to punitive actions.

Now, I don’t know about you, but am I missing something here?

As National Association of Manufacturers President and CEO Jay Timmons said recently: “The NLRB has been pursuing an aggressive agenda that will harm our economic growth at a time when manufacturers should be leading the economic recovery. From its proposed ‘ambush elections’ rule to its Boeing complaint, the agency is trying to dictate the way businesses operate, where they operate and how they interact with their employees. These decisions represent a sea change in employee-employer relations, and manufacturers are prepared to pursue all avenues to restore the balance between employees and employers in the workplace.”

Did you know that in 2011 the business sector targeted by NLRB — private business — has only 7.2 percent organized labor? That means 92.8 percent of American private sector employees have rejected the labor-management model of the 1950s and moved on to an entirely different world of employee-employer relationships. The models of the past have been broken now for over 25 years.

The majority of unions in America today are now comprised of those people each and every one of us pays to support through our tax dollars: public sector employees, such as government workers, teachers and public safety personnel. Today the public sector still has more than 37 percent representation by labor unions.

Maybe the folks at the NLRB honestly think pitting employees against employers is a good way to stimulate jobs and to bring back faith to the economy. I don’t agree.

If you also do not agree, please contact your representative in Congress. The House and Senate have reconvened. Bringing sanity to these out-of-control regulators seems like one of the jobs/stimulus activities they should pursue vigorously.

— Mark Dobbins is chairman of the Arizona Chamber of Commerce and Industry.

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