A gift to unions

A gift to unions

June 25th, 2011 in Opinion Free Press

The Democrat-run National Labor Relations Board, which is supposed to be impartial in labor disputes, is trying to give a huge gift to the Obama administration's allies in Big Labor.

The NLRB has proposed sharply reducing the length of time between the filing of a petition for a vote on whether to unionize a workplace, and the vote itself.

But the current time from the filing of a petition to the vote is already short. The NLRB acknowledged that a mere 38 days is the median wait time. That means half the votes take place before 38 days, and half take place after. Plus, virtually all unionization votes are held no later than 56 days after the petitions are filed. Those are hardly unreasonable waits.

And there is a good reason for having a delay between the filing of a petition for a unionization vote and the vote itself. It gives employees time to consider more fully both the pros and cons of a union. Ramming a vote through at a fast pace would undercut workers' ability to determine whether a union is desirable.

What seems to trouble Big Labor and the NLRB is that American workers are avoiding unions in record numbers. Unionization has plunged today to only 6.9 percent of private-sector workers. Only 11.9 percent of all workers - in private and government employment combined - are unionized, and a majority of those are in government, where unions should not be permitted in the first place.

The NLRB's proposal to cut wait times before unionization votes are held is an obvious effort to shore up Democrats' union support. Big Labor provides massive campaign donations, with most such financing going to Democrats.

That is not a good reason to tinker with the system under which workers vote on whether to form a union.