Agribusiness Freedom Foundation  
Home arrow Sentinel e-Newsletter arrow February 2010 arrow Obama to Try End Run for Becker
Main Menu
About AFF
Latest Op/Ed Release
Sentinel e-Newsletter
Newsletter Signup
Staff Bios
Make A Contribution
Contact Us
Obama to Try End Run for Becker PDF Print E-mail
Written by Steve Dittmer   
Friday, 12 February 2010
AFF Sentinel Vol.7#5

Recess Appointment of Union Champion Possible

Colorado Springs, CO Feb. 12, 2010 Editors Note: Just hours after our Sentinel issue regarding the comment period on Roundup Ready Alfalfa, APHIS announced an extension of the comment period for 15 days, until March 3.

President Obama may soon attempt an end run to once again thwart the will of the people and do another favor for his union backers.

This week, the U.S. Senate refused to vote for cloture to proceed to a vote on the confirmation of Craig Becker to the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB). Obamas nominee Becker is presently an attorney for the Service Employees International Union (SEIU) ($30 million to the 2008 Democratic presidential campaign ) and for the AFL-CIO. And while the NRLB board is supposed to be the impartial arbiter of union elections and labor law, Becker is anything but impartial.

With the Senate refusing to bring Beckers nomination to the floor, the President has threatened a recess appointment of several of his nominees stalled by Senate objection during the Presidents Day Congressional recess next week.

Beckers nomination has been controversial because his positions are very clear: all American workers must be unionized.

Just as U.S. citizens cannot opt against having a congressman, workers should not be able to choose against having a union as their monopoly- bargaining agent, Becker said, according to the National Right to Work newsletter, May 2009.

Employees only choice should be over which set of union officials get exclusive power to negotiate their wages, benefits and work rules.

And with the unions pressing for card check legislation, making secret ballot unionization elections virtually disappear, Beckers views on secret ballots received scrutiny. Beckers long-held views are not encouraging to workers who want a fair shot with a secret ballot -- at unionizing choice.

In Beckers philosophy, secret ballot elections are profoundly undemocratic, he said in New Labor Forum, Fall/Winter 1998. In fact, he considers U.S. unionization election procedure way too onerous.

Unlike citizens in a democratic state and unlike employees in other industrial countries where workplace representation is mandatory (like Germany), American workers must first petition the NLRB and then cast an affirmative vote to get a union.

At first blush, it might seem fair to give workers the choice to remain unrepresented. But, in providing workers this `non-representation option, U.S. labor law grants employers a powerful incentive.

Holy Samuel Gompers! Might seem fair?? First blush??

Such sentiments spooked Sen. Ben Nelson, the Nebraska Democrat who joined Democrat Blanche Lincoln in opposing Becker. Nelson is perhaps listening more closely to Cornhusker voters, after his support of the Democratic leaderships health care bill so galvanized home opposition.

Lincoln, now Senate Agriculture committee chairman, could be mindful of agricultures general opposition to increased unionization, because of consequent increases in costs and inefficiencies in work rules, making the industry less competitive in domestic and export markets. Candidate Obama supported unionization of feedlots.

Mr. Beckers previous statements strongly indicate he would take an aggressive personal agenda to the NLRB and that he would pursue a personal agenda there, rather than that of the administration, Nelsons said.

Actually, we can only agree with the first part of Nelsons statement. It is obvious the chances of Beckers being impartial on the NLRB board is about as likely as Alaska growing coconuts. But when Nelson said he was afraid Becker would pursue a personal agenda rather than that of the administration, we think Nelson meant to charitably - - presume the administration would uphold an impartial standard.

Thats about as likely as Alaska growing coconuts and bananas. This administration has demonstrated absolutely no impartiality when it comes to union positions, going out of its way -- with Congress -- to not only favor union positions but protect union jobs, pensions and, indeed, to see that unions came out owning much or a majority of two major auto companies.

The Wall Street Journal (Andy Sterns Go- To Guy, 5/14/09) laundry listed Beckers hard-edged positions, including: employers being barred from attending NLRB election hearings or from challenging elections even amid evidence of union misconduct; elections being removed from work sites or held by mail; employers barred from placing observers at the polls and, most incredibly, any meeting that a company holds that involves a captive audience being grounds for overturning an election (Becker, Minnesota Law Review, 1993).

If you oppose Becker at the NLRB, here are two chores.

First, tell the White House you oppose a recess appointment of Becker, e-mailing the following: Chief of Staff Rahm Emanuel ( ), White House head of Senate Legislative Affairs, Shawn P. Maher ( ) and White House head of Legislative Affairs Philip M. Schiliro ( ). Timing on this: ASAP.

Secondly, ask your senators to vote against any future cloture motions or confirmation votes for Becker.

Email your comments to the author


Next >
designed by