Tag Archives: NLRB

Obama’s NLRB Appointment Comes from Union with Mob Ties!

Mr. Griffin's Bio on the NLRB Website
https://www.nlrb.gov/who-we-are/board/richard-griffin

Mr. Griffin’s Bio on the NLRB Website
https://www.nlrb.gov/who-we-are/board/richard-griffin

Richard Griffin, Obama’s recent recess appointment to the NLRB, was a lawyer for a Union with close ties to the mafia.  Secretary of Labor  Hilda Solis stated that “we can’t afford to not move on very important issues that affect working class people, and particularly working Americans that are struggling right now…we need to know there’s a sense of security and … that we honor the ability to collectively bargain.”  However, let’s take a look at Mr. Griffin.  According to The Washington Free Beacon:

 That recess appointee, Richard Griffin, was former general counsel for the 400,000-member [International Union of Operating Engineers] – a union tainted over the years by mob connections and a history of corruption.

Public documents obtained by Fox News show that more than 60 IUOE members have been arrested, indicted or jailed in the last decade on charges that include labor racketeering, extortion, criminal enterprise, bodily harm and workplace sabotage.

In some of the more egregious examples, federal prosecutors alleged in February 2003 that the Genovese and Colombo crime families wrested control of two IUOE locals, and stole $3.6 million from major New York area construction projects — including the Museum of Modern Art and minor league baseball stadiums for the Yankees and Mets in Staten and Coney Islands.

“Hope and Change” right? Fuggedaboutit!

(H/T Washington Free Beacon)

U.S. Chamber Challenges Legality of NLRB Appointments

The U.S. Chamber and the Coalition for a Democratic Workplace (CDW) asked the DC Circuit for permission to join a lawsuit challenging the validity of three “recess” appointments to the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) last Thursday. Invalidating those recess appointments would prevent the NLRB from making rulings due to lack of quorum.

Tom Donohue, president and CEO of the Chamber said:

Appointing three of five members to the NLRB in a legally questionable way casts doubt on the work of the entire agency. We cautioned in January that shoehorning these nominees into office in this controversial way would throw the legal validity of every decision of the Board into question.  Our concern has now become a reality.  We are simply asking the courts to sort out the question of the NLRB’s authority quickly, so that employers and employees alike can have predictability and certainty.

Donohue also addressed how these appointments have created uncertainty:

Employers and employees need to know what it means when the NLRB orders an employer to bargain with a union, to modify its compensation and benefit plans, or to cease contracting work — to offer just a few examples.  Is the order legally rendered, or will it be invalidated in the future?  Without this kind of certainty, we cannot foster an environment that will lead to economic growth and job creation.

The Chamber asserts that “the courts should resolve the question of the NLRB’s authority quickly, so that employers and employees alike can have predictability and certainty.”

The Chamber’s motion for leave to intervene is available here.

Should union bosses have access to your personal information?

Have you ever had a company sell your contact information to another company and then suddenly you started getting e-mails about some product you’ve never heard of?  It’s annoying isn’t it?

Good news!  The National Labor Relations Board wants to require your employer to share your contact information with unions.  At least when companies pull this stuff they only send you junk mail – imagine what your friendly SEIU organizer might want to do with your information.

Board Chair Mark Pearce is introducing a series of new regulations. One of these regulations, if passed, would require businesses to surrender their employee’s personal contact information to campaigning union heads.

“If the National Labor Relations Board gets its way, companies could be forced to hand over your contact information, whether you like it or not, to union leaders,” Fox host Neil Cavuto said. “Union leaders having access to your phone number, your email address?”

It’s hard to say exactly how this new regulation will help the government do its job of protecting your freedom – and it’s even harder to find the place in the Constitution that authorizes the executive branch to force a business to do something like this.

Unfortunately, it’s become common for nonsense regulations to be proposed and there is virtually nothing that regular Americans can do to stop them.  This is exactly the type of situation that is created when the principles in the Constitution are ignored.  Our Constitution was written in a way that protects citizens from the government.  But when we allow it to be violated, it doesn’t take long before we are faced with this kind of situation where the government wants to subject us to undeserved union harassment and there is nothing we can do about it.

This particular case is a perfect illustration of how the disregard our public officials have for the Constitution poses a serious threat to your freedom.

We all learned in school that our government is split up into three branches – executive, legislative, and judicial (they do still teach that much in public schools at least, right?).  That wasn’t an accident.

There are three jobs that any government has to be able to perform in order to function: it has to be able to make laws, enforce the law, and judge the law.  Without any one of those, a government isn’t able to do its job.  By giving each of those jobs to a different branch, the Founders made sure that no branch could run the government by itself.  So if one branch becomes corrupt, it can’t take the country down a horribly oppressive road without the cooperation of the other two.

Maintaining that separation of powers is critical because any time one branch is allowed to do more than one of those jobs, it becomes much easier for the government to get out of control.  In the Federalist Papers, James Madison explained that any time one person or group of people is able to exercise all three functions of government, that is the very definition of tyranny.

Noah Webster’s 1828 dictionary defines tyranny as:

TYR’ANNY, n.

1. Arbitrary or despotic exercise of power; the exercise of power over subjects and others with a rigor not authorized by law or justice, or not requisite for the purposes of government. Hence tyranny is often synonymous with cruelty and oppression.

2. Cruel government or discipline; as the tyranny of a master.

3. Unresisted and cruel power.

4. Absolute monarchy cruelly administered.

5. Severity; rigor; inclemency.

Maybe it’s just me, but none of those options sound particularly good.

But look at what we’ve done with executive agencies like the NLRB.  In this situation, the NLRB is proposing regulations that would require your employer to share your personal information.  So it is making laws.  A quick visit to the NLRB web site shows that it is also judging laws and enforcing laws.  Now what would Madison call that again?

If you’ve ever wondered why we are getting so many ridiculous regulations in recent years – there’s your answer.  As a nation, we’ve completely disregarded both the Constitution and the protection that is provided by the separation of powers.

In his book The Spirit of Laws, Montesquieu brilliantly laid out the dangers involved in concentrating the powers of government:

“When the legislative and executive powers are united in the same person, or in the same body of magistrates, there can be no liberty; because apprehensions may arise, lest the same monarch or senate should enact tyrannical laws, to execute them in a tyrannical manner.” (emphasis mine)

In other words, if all of the power is put in the hands of one group of people and those people come up with destructive or oppressive policies, there is almost nothing that anyone can do to stop them.

Look at it this way: imagine that the NLRB passes a ridiculous, oppressive regulation (a real stretch, I know).  Then, someone from the NLRB does an investigation and finds that you violated that regulation.  You get upset and decide you want to fight the charge so you take your case in front of an administrative law judge from… the NLRB!!

You don’t have to be terribly creative to see how that type of process could be abused.  After all, there’s a reason that the term “judge, jury, and executioner” doesn’t have a positive connotation.

Supporters of this system will argue that it doesn’t violate the separation of powers because Congress still has the power to confirm appointments to executive agencies and oversees their actions.  But even if you buy that really weak argument, President Obama killed half of it when he made his latest (unconstitutional) recess appointments.  Remember – three members of the NLRB that will be considering this proposal to make your information available to unions were appointed earlier this year when Obama sidestepped Congress.

Unfortunately, this idea of Congressional oversight doesn’t offer us any real protection for our freedom either.  Does anyone honestly believe that we have members of Congress – or even their staffs – sitting in Washington, D.C. diligently looking through the regulations that get passed?

Well no one should believe that because it would be physically impossible.  We now have an army of bureaucrats in our government that is pumping out regulations like it’s a factory.  In fact, when the Justice Department did a study to find out how many regulations there are, it concluded that it was impossible to count them all.

To clarify – the federal government says it is impossible to count all of the regulations our government has passed but you are expected to comply with every single one of them.  So you could easily find yourself in some serious trouble for violating a regulation that you never knew existed.  Can you see how having that many regulations is a threat to your freedom?

The cumbersome law-making process that’s created in our Constitution isn’t a flaw that politicians should be trying to get around.  It is a feature that protects your liberty.  By going through deliberate process in order to pass a law, that makes it much easier for regular citizens to keep an eye on what is happening and hold their representatives accountable.

Beyond that, slowing down the law-making process does put some outer limit on the level of intrusion the government can have on your personal life.  If Congress has to actually pass all of their own laws instead of relying on executive agencies, it would be a lot tougher for them to find time to dictate the speed your toilet flushes, the proper height for a stairway railing, or God only knows what other parts of our lives are being regulated now.  (Of course, all of this assumes that our representatives are doing stupid things like reading the bills that they pass before the vote.)

At this point in history, there are certain aspects of government that we know are required to protect freedom and separation of powers is one of them.  Anytime that we violate that principle of separation, there will be consequences.

Right now, the consequences for allowing executive agencies to us all three functions of government could not be clearer.  In addition to a growing mountain of restrictive regulations that no one can even count, we are now facing an NLRB that wants to share our personal information with union bosses and there is basically nothing we can do about it.

If we as citizens have any hope of regaining control of our government – and our liberty – then somehow we are going to have to find a way to put this regulatory genie back in the bottle.

 

What recess appointment power?

Since the moment President Obama announced his appointments to the Consumer Financial Protection Board and the National Labor Relations Board, there has been an ongoing debate over whether or not the Senate was in recess when these appointments were made.  The whole spectacle has been really interesting – but it’s basically irrelevant in this situation.

A better question to be asking at this point is – doesn’t it seem odd that the Founders would require the President to get his appointments confirmed by the Senate… and then let him just do whatever he wants through recess appointments?  Why would they do something that seems so illogical.

The short answer: they didn’t.

If a vacancy in the executive branch opens up while the Senate is in recess, then the president has the power to appoint someone to serve temporarily.  But unless a vacancy actually occurs while the Senate is out of session, the president has absolutely no power of recess appointment.

Don’t believe it?  The Constitution is pretty clear on the topic:

The President shall have Power to fill up all Vacancies that may happen during the Recess of the Senate, by granting Commissions which shall expire at the End of their next Session.

Article 2, Section 2

That clause couldn’t any more straightforward.  But in case there is still any doubt, Alexander Hamilton explained the purpose of this clause in Federalist #67 as well:

The ordinary power of appointment is confined to the President and Senate JOINTLY, and can therefore only be exercised during the session of the Senate; but as it would have been improper to oblige this body to be continually in session for the appointment of officers and as vacancies might happen IN THEIR RECESS, which it might be necessary for the public service to fill without delay, the succeeding clause is evidently intended to authorize the President, SINGLY, to make temporary appointments “during the recess of the Senate, by granting commissions which shall expire at the end of their next session.” (emphasis in original)

The fact that the three appointments the president made to the NLRB are unconstitutional is not up for debate.  But Obama did make a weak attempt to argue that his appointment of Richard Corday to the CFPB is different because it’s a new agency and it can’t function without a director.

Unfortunately for the president, he’s dead wrong on that point as well:

“It has been held by that venerable body [the Senate], that if new offices are created by Congress, the president cannot, after the adjournment of the senate, make appointments to fill them.  The vacancies do not happen during the recess of the senate.” (emphasis in original text)

William Rawle, A View of the Constitution of the United States 1825

And:

By “vacancies” they understood to be meant vacancies occurring from death, resignation, promotion, or removal.  The word “happen” had relation to some causality, not provided for by law.  If the senate are in session, when offices are created by law, which as of yet have not been filled, and nominations are not then made to them by the president, he cannot appoint to such offices during the recess of the senate, because the vacancies did not happen during the recess of the senate.

Joseph Story, Commentaries on the Constitution 1833

So the purpose of recess appointments was in no way intended to give the president a way to get around Senate decisions that he doesn’t like (shocker!) – it was to ensure that the government can continue to function if something unexpected happens in the executive branch while the Senate is out of town.  Now that makes a lot more sense!

Considering that President Obama is supposed to be a Constitutional scholar, you’d think he’d already know something basic like that.  I guess an education from Columbia and Harvard isn’t all it’s cracked up to be.

If it was, he should already know that the system for confirming appointments wasn’t created by accident.  It has an essential purpose – to limit the power of the president.  More specifically, it was designed to limit the power of presidents who say things like this:

“I refuse to take ‘no’ for an answer,” Mr. Obama said in Shaker Heights, drawing applause from his audience. “When Congress refuses to act and as a result hurts our economy and puts our people at risk, then I have an obligation as president to do what I can without them.”

This kind of mindset is exactly why the system of checks and balances in the Constitution is so critical to protecting our freedom.  He is determined to appoint political cronies to certain executive agencies regardless of their qualifications (or lack thereof).  We can only imagine what he’d be doing if he wasn’t being restricted by that darned Constitution thingy.

When the Founders required Senate approval for those nominations, they were trying to force the president to nominate high quality candidates and to prevent him from using appointments as political favors, among other things.  So, for example, if the president started passing out appointments to reward political donors the Senate has the power to stop him from doing that.

But if the president has the power to just install anyone he wants during a recess every time the Senate rejects his nominee, the whole system of checks and balances falls apart.  At a time when the president has actually come out and announced that it is his intention to ignore the separation of powers and grab as much power as possible, the system of checks and balances is more important than ever… and our liberty is in serious danger.

This is where the hyper-partisan crowd starts screaming, “But, but, but Bush did the same thing when he made John Bolton a recess appointment!!”  Yep.  And it was unconstitutional when Bush did it too.  The fact that Bush violated the Constitution isn’t an appropriate reason for Obama to double down on the illegality.

If we accepted the logic of the folks who argue that these appointments are acceptable because there’s a precedent, that would mean that Obama would be justified in rounding up all the Japanese people in the country and putting them in internment camps… just because FDR did it once.  Obviously, that would be absurd.

As a nation we need to be asking ourselves if the Constitution actually means something or if we’d rather be governed entirely by precedents that are usually set by politicians who are trying to enlarge their own power.

The Constitution was carefully designed to protect your freedom – while relying solely on precedent provides no limit on the amount of power the government can have over your life.  We ought to be careful in choosing which one we want to govern us because once we go down the road to tyranny there’s no turning back.

Friday Media Dump

Good News on Monday; bad news on Friday. Here’s a little of everything that got dumped on us today:

Trump trumped?

All but two candidates have declined Trump’s invitation to the Newsmax/ION debate that he is to host:

Trump considering alternatives:

Union approves Boeing peace agreement

A Machinists union voted to approve a new contract that promises a cease-fire against their employer – Boeing.

The Machinists District Lodge 751 approved a contract with 74% of the voting members. The agreement gives one of the most generous pension packages in the industry to all employees including brand new hires. In exchange, the union promises to cease hostilities against the manufacturer for four years,  pull their complaints from the NLRB, allow Boeing to build their 737 in Kansas and the 787 in South Carolina.

The union recently filed a complaint with the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) that put Boeing’s new South Carolina facility in question. South Carolina governor Nikki Haley has said the union actions threatened thousands of jobs in a struggling economy[1].

The complaints alleged that Boeing was building the factory in a right-to-work state to avoid more strikes like those of 2005 and 2008, the latter which is attributed to the delay of the 787 Dreamliner at significant expense to Boeing and its reputation.

The union agreed to pull its complaints from the NLRB now that it has gotten the contract that was perhaps the goal of the conflict. Unfortunately, the board is an independent agency that is almost completely populated by President Obama’s appointees. While the union pulling their complaint does not guarantee that the board will follow suit, the union got the agreement it wanted while giving up little more than promising not to strike until 2016. It is likely that the unions will work with the Obama administration to get the board to drop the evaluation. This would show Boeing that the union has significant sway within the government and would rid Obama of a very negative campaign issue that would likely have run  right up to the election.

Boeing has had little choice but to come out with positive statements about the agreement. Boeing needs the NLRB mess to disappear so it can get on with production of their Dreamliner at the factory in South Carolina, the 737 in Kansas and no more work stoppages from the union – at least not from Machinists Lodge 751.

Sources:

[1] New York Times: http://www.nytimes.com/aponline/2011/12/07/business/AP-US-Boeing-Labor.html?_r=1&partner=rss&emc=rss

You can help stop Obama's job-killing NLRB

Halt the assault has started an online campaign to let our members of Congress know that the NLRB has over-stepped the rights of workers.

According to LaborUnionReport.com help is needed:

Last week’s NLRB vote to give unions the ability to ambush union-free workers and the companies that employ them, as well as to deny due process on bargaining unit issues, is only the latest in a long line of attacks on America’s union-free workforce by the union extremists controlling Barack Obama’s National Labor Relations Board.

In April, President Obama used the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) to prevent Boeing from opening a huge new factory in South Carolina – a right-to-work state.

The NLRB is not operating as an unbiased mediator between the job creators and union leadership – their time has come.

End the NLRB. Sign the petition and be part of the solution.

 

July 21st Radio Show – Debt, GOP Rumors and the NLRB

Conservative Radio Show - The Plain, Hard Truth with Rich Mitchell and Michelle RayShow Time: Thursday July 21st, 7pm pacific, 8pm Mountain, 9pm Central, 10pm Eastern

Tune In: Plain, Hard Truth Radio Show

Call in: Be part of the program – call in to the show: (424) 220-1807

Guests: Nicole Pearce and Andrew Staroska from Truth About Bills.

Show Topics: Join Michelle and Rich as they take your calls on the budget crisis, the GOP rumor mill, and the latest on the Boeing/NLRB fiasco.

Recording of the Show:

Listen to internet radio with Rich Mitchell on Blog Talk Radio

Links from the Show:

Allen West Fires Back at Debbie Wasserman Shultz [Email Text and Video]

 

Cut, Cap and Balance Could Pass the Senate

Hear recordings of past shows: CDN On-Air Archives


Obama Administration Goes After Boeing to Protect Unions

Boeing 787Boeing corporation moved a portion of its Dreamliner 787 production line from Washington state to a $750 million South Carolina facility after failure to negotiate a contract with unions. Now that the East Coast facility is just three months from initial production, the Obama administration’s National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) has filed what may be the largest labor lawsuit in 50 years against Boeing to prevent the South Carolina plant from coming online.

The federal suit alleges that Boeing built the plant in South Carolina to retaliate against the machinists union for past strikes. The machinist union has gone on strike against Being five times costing billions of dollars to the airplane builder. While opinions vary, Boeing could simply be making a precautionary move to prevent future strikes – a responsible action. The suit would allow the federal government to mandate that the 787 production be done only in Washington.

Senator Jim DeMint (R-SC) said, “This is nothing more than a political favor for the unions who are supporting President Obama’s re-election campaign..” And Senator Lindsey Graham (R-SC) added, “If successful, the NLRB complaint would allow unions to hold a virtual ‘veto’ over business decisions..”.

Boeing commented on the lawsuit calling it “frivolous” and promised to open the South Carolina as scheduled. Strangely, the first hearing will be with a judge that works for the NLRB on June 14th after which the NLRB will review that judges decision.

When examining the progressive side of the argument, it becomes clear why Boeing needed to increase the rate of divestiture in Blue states. California’s business-unfriendly tax structure and union-protectionism cost it an aircraft electronics manufacturing plant for Boeing several years ago – a change that moved jobs to Oklahoma. Further evidence of the rabid attacks from leftist groups can be found at SocialistAlternative.org. In a post entitled “The Boeing Rip-Off” the author makes the argument that creating a better business climate is unnecessary.

Boeing’s demands for a more competitive business environment are in spite of the fact that it does not have a single competitor in the United States. Boeing gobbled up the McDonnell Douglas Corporation, the last competitor in commercial airline manufacturing in the U.S. That leaves Airbus, a French-European company, as its only real competition.

In actuality, there are five major aircraft builders in the world, according to Aviation Knowledge

  1. Airbus
  2. Boeing
  3. Bombardier
  4. Embraer
  5. Tupoloev

Boeing also has to consider the rising star of China, who is growing a mature manufacturing sector at impressive rates. At Wired.com, an article introduces the world to China’s ambitions.

China, perhaps uncomfortable with the thought of an industry it doesn’t completely dominate, is accelerating plans to roll out a home-grown passenger plane to compete with best-selling planes from Boeing and Airbus.

China is not dealing with Unions’ unfair collective bargaining tactics. The short-sightedness of socialism is rearing its ugly head on the West coast through unionization and progressive taxation. The rest of the United States, starving for new jobs, could not be happier.