Judge wrong to force companies to boost labor unions

Judge wrong to force companies to boost labor unions

March 7th, 2012 in Opinion Free Press

A federal judge has ruled -- wrongly in our view -- that the National Labor Relations Board can force most businesses to put up posters that spell out employees' rights to form unions.

We do not question the right of workers in private companies to unionize, so long as they are not coerced into doing so by Big Labor.

But requiring businesses in effect to advertise on behalf of unions is unjust.

If a company unlawfully denies workers their right to unionize, that is a different matter, and would merit government intervention. But a business that has committed no such violation should be under no obligation to become the source of information for workers who may want to unionize. That information is readily available on the Internet and from labor unions themselves, which would be more than happy to tell employees whatever they want to know about their right to join unions.

What seems to trouble the federal government -- which is heavily and improperly unionized -- is that fewer and fewer Americans in the private sector are choosing to join unions. In 2011, for instance, not even 7 percent of private-sector employees were union members, while more than one-third of private-sector workers were unionized in the 1950s.

That sharp decline over the past few decades alarms Democrats, including President Barack Obama, because they rely on political and financial backing from Big Labor.

But whatever frustrations some in the federal government may feel about the fact that most Americans do not choose to join unions, forcing businesses to expend their own resources to encourage greater union membership is unjustified.