In the regulatory mess that is Washington today, the leader of the ridiculous pack just might be the National Labor Relations Board.
With union membership continuing to decline to historically low levels, the NLRB has apparently determined it will do whatever it can to help slow the erosion. It has shown no pretense of fairness in its decisions over the past four years with its rulings also often having major impacts on non-union employers.
In January, a U.S. Court of Appeals threw out three of President Obama's NLRB appointees, raising questions about the legality of recent rulings. Those same people have now been renominated by the President, so the drama continues.
The latest partisan action regards union dues expenditures. The National Association of Manufacturers (NAM) provides this summary:
A case currently before the NLRB could significantly alter the current way in which employees can exercise their Beck rights to object to union dues’ expenditures. According to the U.S. Supreme Court, in the Beck decision, employees can object to a portion of union dues’ expenditures if the dues are being used to fund political activity not related to collective bargaining or contract administration. In a recent case, the United Nurses and Allied Professionals (Kent Hospital) and Jeanette Geary, however, the NLRB decided an employee, who objected to the union’s expenditures, did not deserve to have any verification showing proof how the union was spending its funds.
The NLRB proposes to go a step further to give the unions the upper hand by presuming the union is, indeed, spending all the dues correctly. The effect would be the Board is telling employees they have to prove the union is spending money on lobbying and political activity with no means of independently verifying the union claims.
The Board’s new idea would unfairly and unnecessarily stack the deck against employees who have to pay dues, but disagree with the union politically. Under the proposal, any lobbying activity the union would engage in on Capitol Hill, down to state and local seats of government, would go unchecked.