Who benefits from the federal labor laws that authorize union officials to act as the “exclusive” (monopoly) bargaining agents of all the front-line employees in a business with regard to their pay, benefits, and work rules? Early this year, three of President Barack Obama’s National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) appointees were confronted with this question. And, as creative as they can be in “reinterpreting” laws and facts in ways that are convenient for Big Labor, this time they couldn’t help but give the answer Big Labor didn’t want to hear: “Union bosses benefit from monopoly bargaining.”
On March 30, the Obama NLRB ruled 3-0 that the bosses of Local 720 of the International Alliance of Theatrical Stage Employees (IATSE) may not use the “exclusive” hiring hall they operate to discriminate against employees who live in a Right to Work state and exercise their freedom not to join or bankroll Local 720.
The IATSE Local 720 ruling, in which Chairman Mark Pearce, an ex-union lawyer, and member Lauren McFerran, a protege of retired Big Labor U.S. Sen. Tom Harkin (D-Iowa), participated, entirely upheld an earlier decision by NLRB Administrative Law Judge Kenneth Chu.
Judge Chu had explicitly recognized that Local 720 officials and other union bosses across the country gain a “thing of value by being allowed the power of exclusive representative over all employees in the bargaining unit whether the employees agree or not . . . .”
He further observed that “exclusive representation” vests a union with “comprehensive authority” over the “users” of a hiring hall, putting users in a position of “dependence” on union officials. The power and control Big Labor derives from monopoly-bargaining privileges, Judge Chu concluded, are “sufficient compensation” for any expenses union bosses might incur while wielding those privileges over employees in Right to Work states who exercise their legal prerogative not to join or bankroll an unwanted union.
Union-label Obama NLRB appointees Mark Pearce and Lauren McFerran couldn’t disagree.
But International Union of Operating Engineers (IUOE) bosses like Minnesotan Jason George insist, all the same, that “exclusive” representation is a “burden” for them. This fall, they have managed to get on a statewide South Dakota ballot Measure 23, a craftily worded initiative that doesn’t even mention the Mount Rushmore State’s Right to Work law, but would, if adopted, gut that law by forcing union nonmembers to pay dues or fees for Big Labor monopoly bargaining, they don’t want, and never asked for. (See the news story linked below to find out more about what George and his cohorts are up to.)
If Measure 23 passes, union bosses will be handed what even the Obama NLRB concedes is a “thing of value,” and workers will be forced to pay for it!
Currently, the National Right to Work Committee is helping freedom-loving grass-roots activists in South Dakota fight this underhanded and dangerous scheme. Together, they are ensuring that ordinary citizen will see through the deceptive rhetoric of union special interests and their apologists.