A Board Whose Time has Come and Gone

The National Labor Relations Board is supposed to protect all workers, but it’s been focused on union workers exclusively for far too long.  In the effort, too, it’s become far too politicized to be useful or able to be rehabilitated.

For instance, it ignores the courts.

In [a] DC Circuit case…the NLRB ignored the court’s longstanding precedent on an employer’s bargaining obligations under a collective-bargaining agreement, forcing a Michigan health clinic to defend itself against charges it knew the court would reject.

The NLRB ignores other long-standing precedent, also.  For instance, it has ruled [sic] the franchising companies—a McDonald’s, a Subway, and so on—are at least partially responsible for the employment practices of the franchise holder—a particular McDonald’s or Subway restaurant—even though employment decisions are entirely the purview of the franchise license holder.

Peter Schaumber, ex-NLRB Chairman under ex-President Bush the Younger, argued in his op-ed at the link that the NLRB could cure this by issuing a slew of regulations that would reverse those abusive practices.  It’s true enough that regulations ” adopted after public notice and comment cannot be overturned without ‘substantial justification’ or renewed rule-making,” but that’s only a temporary sop.  The same politicization would leave it straightforward (if cumbersomely so) to find “substantial justification” or to spend the time to go through “renewed rule-making” in order to alter the NLRB to its members’ ideology—even ego—rather than staying focused on all workers.

Formalizing regulations through rule-making processes cannot correct the board’s political biases, whichever way those might lean.

The NLRB needs to be done away with altogether.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *