Breakthrough Web Design - 515-897-1144 - Web sites for businesses
News & Entertainment for Mason City, Clear Lake & the Entire North Iowa Region

Founded October 1, 2010


Washington Times Op-Ed: Obama’s unfair union-election tilt By Sen. Lamar Alexander, Rep. John Kline, and Rep. Phil Roe


This news story was published on March 29, 2014.
Advertise on NIT Subscribe to NIT

Friday, March 28, 2014 –

The president is waging a public-relations campaign about income inequality in this country, but rather than focus on growing the economy and encouraging businesses to hire, this administration has fallen back on stale, bankrupt ideas that don’t help workers achieve more.

The latest is a rule proposed by the National Labor Relations Board to speed up union elections, reduce the time workers have to decide whether or not to join a labor union, and force employers to hand over to union organizers their employees’ private information.

The board’s Democratic majority is expected to finalize the proposed rule later this year.

Congress must take action. On Thursday, we introduced legislation that will prohibit this administration from rigging union elections and ensure workers get adequate time to hear from both sides and make a decision, while maintaining control over their personal information.

Today, the union election process takes a median of 38 days — generally enough time for unions to make their case and for employers to make theirs, and for employees to have the information they need to make a fully informed decision.

The proposed rule would shrink that process to as few as 10 days — just enough time for unions to make their aggressive plug without giving employers adequate time to respond. It hamstrings employers from speaking to workers and making their case to the board, forcing them to raise all their concerns within seven days and essentially forfeit the right to raise additional concerns later.

The real loser is the American worker, who would be ambushed by the process and forced to make a decision without all the facts.

The current election timeline doesn’t favor employers. Unions win 60 percent of elections.

Labor unions are suffering dwindling ranks and need the kind of advantage that can only come by rigging the election. Unfortunately, the Obama administration is more than ready to help out their union allies.

If the proposed rule sounds familiar, it should. The U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia already struck down the administration’s past attempt to rush through ambush elections on procedural grounds.

This time around, the National Labor Relations Board is going even further. The rule includes a provision that shows a startling lack of respect for workers. Employers would be forced to hand over the private cellphone numbers and email addresses, work location and shift information of workers to union officials.

This provision constitutes an unprecedented invasion of worker privacy.

Choosing whether or not to join a union is an important decision. If unions are certain they are best for workers, then they shouldn’t fear an election process that allows workers a real opportunity to make up their minds.

Our legislation will ensure sufficient time for employers and workers to prepare for an election and require the election take place no sooner than 35 days after the petition is filed. It will permit employers to raise concerns throughout the process, and it empowers employees to choose the personal information that will be disclosed to unions.

The federal labor board ought be an umpire rather than a biased advocate. Today’s board fails that test, as President Obama has appointed union advocates to serve in the roles of adjudicators.

In the face of this board’s union advocacy, Congress needs to stand up for fairness to workers and employers.

Sen. Lamar Alexander, Tennessee Republican, is ranking member of the Senate Committee on Health, Education, Labor and Pensions. Rep. John Kline, Minnesota Republican, is chairman of the House Committee on Education and the Workforce. Rep. Phil Roe, Tennessee Republican, is chairman of the House Education and the Workforce health, employment, labor and pensions subcommittee.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.

 characters available

17 Responses to Washington Times Op-Ed: Obama’s unfair union-election tilt By Sen. Lamar Alexander, Rep. John Kline, and Rep. Phil Roe

  1. Avatar

    Anonymous Reply Report comment

    March 31, 2014 at 7:42 am

    In my years of working I have belonged to two unions. Both were no more then protection agency’s for worthless workers. Also even though iowa has the right to work law if you didn’t join you were threatened with broken windows, flat tires and physical harm. Along with promoting work slow downs and destruction of company property both were a complete joke. Work hard and succeed on your own merit. This is the true American way not belonging to strong arm agency or being on the government dole

  2. Avatar

    Buzz Crumcutter Reply Report comment

    March 29, 2014 at 12:56 pm

    To this president, more unions = more votes. Pure and simple.

    • Avatar

      LVS Reply Report comment

      March 29, 2014 at 1:51 pm

      @Buzz-anything to buy the votes with “OUR” money is O.K. by Obummer.

      • Avatar

        bodacious Reply Report comment

        March 29, 2014 at 5:23 pm

        Do you guys know that in a couple of years, President Obama will be out of office, therefore, he doesn’t need votes? Perhaps the union people will vote democratic, but that has always been the case. The democrats favor the unions, the republicans favor the employers.

        • Avatar

          LVS Reply Report comment

          March 29, 2014 at 6:40 pm

          @bodacious-I can’t speak for Republicans but speaking for myself I do not favor employers at all. But, I am smart enough to know that if there are no employers there is no need for workers. Look at what has happened to Mason City because of greedy unions. The packing house gone, IMI gone. Holcim gone, Brick Yards gone., Lehigh struggling and will probably be gone shortly and it just goes on and on. Until someone can figure out how to help the workers without destroying the company it will…

          • Avatar

            bodacious

            March 29, 2014 at 7:32 pm

            I understand that unions are not what they were intended to be-a group who fights to improve work conditions for those who previously didn’t have enough power to make an impact . When workers decide to take the unions back from the organizations that currently run them, they will be stronger and fairer. Unions should be run by local workers, ruled by their own needs, and should possess enough intelligence to understand that unreasonable demands lead to destruction of what they desire. con’t

          • Avatar

            bodacious

            March 29, 2014 at 7:37 pm

            On the other hand, the employers have to instill trust and loyalty in their employees. They do that by being fair and honest in their approach to employee relations. That probably will never happen because neither side seems to want to do things that way. It’s ‘who can screw the other over best’ that has become the battle cry.

  3. Avatar

    LVS Reply Report comment

    March 29, 2014 at 8:59 am

    Unions while necessary and good when they were first formed have now out lived their usefulness. They are managed by corrupt thugs who are only interested in increasing their wealth and have shut down many businesses with their greed. They need to be restricted to give the employees time to make a decision. I agree something needs to be formed to negotiate for the people, but not today’s national union’s. There are definitely company’s out there that will take advantage if given the…

    • Mediator

      Mediator Reply Report comment

      March 29, 2014 at 2:50 pm

      I think unions are great and I agree that corruption and short-sightedness are certainly factors that can ruin the reputation for unions.

      I don’t think their time is past,though. With the greater disparity in incomes, it’s more and more like the time when unions got their start.

      So, how can we organize labor and not get stuck with “thugs” and others who would ruin a business rather than work with it for the benefit of all, including the owners?

      • Avatar

        Venturae Vince Reply Report comment

        March 29, 2014 at 3:19 pm

        @ Mediator, good to see your saying this your on the ballot now. Not that I would of vote for you any ways Doug but no way since I seen how you think that is communist.

        • Avatar

          LVS Reply Report comment

          March 29, 2014 at 4:47 pm

          @Ventura Vince-You have it right. He is another socialist, communist. We do not need anymore of those in politics in our state.

          • Mediator

            Mediator

            March 29, 2014 at 6:01 pm

            Socialism is the state owning the means of production. Communism is that everyone is the owner of the means of production.

            Unions are neither. They are part of the capitalist system by way of pooling the labor resource and leveraging it to get the most return for the stakeholders of labor.

            If you think of labor as a contractor who negotiates with another business owner for their mutual benefit, you have a better handle on the facts.

            But you guys surely knew these things, right?

          • Avatar

            LVS

            March 29, 2014 at 6:34 pm

            @Mediator-We knew enough to know it was a description of you.

      • Avatar

        Not voting Reply Report comment

        March 29, 2014 at 6:34 pm

        I gotta wonder how long you will be hear, if your that dude really going for superviser and you get beat.

        • Avatar

          Buzz Crumcutter Reply Report comment

          March 29, 2014 at 6:44 pm

          Well, “I gotta wonder” why you would care if your not voting?

  4. Mediator

    Mediator Reply Report comment

    March 29, 2014 at 7:47 am

    Why 35 days and not 21 or 28? I agree that 10 sounds fast, but it’s not required to be 10, just as soon as 10.

  5. Avatar

    Would'nt dare tell you my real name as a union member. Reply Report comment

    March 29, 2014 at 6:49 am

    I am a life long Union Member but I have to agree with this Op-Ed. My own union has done many things over the years that has hampered the workers and companies progress to expand and hire more people. 35 days is fair. I would like to see legislation that let union members vote on additional rules to personalize their working conditions after a contract is in place. Unions have to much power after a contract is in place that often impede the union workers from advancing and earning more.