Tags: nlrb | obama | appointee | unions

Obama Labor Board Appointee Doesn't Deserve Another Term

Obama Labor Board Appointee Doesn't Deserve Another Term
In this July 17, 2013 file photo, the sign for the National Labor Relations Board is seen on the building that houses their headquarters in Washington. (AP Photo/Jon Elswick, File)

By Thursday, 26 July 2018 02:47 PM Current | Bio | Archive

In 2013, four independent-minded employees of the Hyatt Regency Waikiki Resort and Spa in Honolulu received menacing letters from the hierarchy of the UNITE HERE Local 5 union. The letters included threats flagrantly violating their right, under federal labor law, not to bankroll union-boss politics and lobbying with their forced union fees.

At the time they received the UNITE HERE letters, which threatened to have their wages garnished if they refused to pay forced fees for Local 5’s bargaining and political schemes, equal in amount to the dues forked over by union members, employees Mark Tamosiunas, Steven Taono, Agnes Demarke, and Wayne Young didn’t belong to the union.

Moreover, they had all expressly told Local 5 bosses that they wanted to exercise their right under National Right to Work Legal Defense Foundation-won U.S. Supreme Court precedents such as CWA v. Beck not to bankroll Big Labor politics and other non-bargaining activities.

In forced-unionism states like Hawaii, private-sector workers can unfortunately be forced to pay fees to a union they would never voluntarily join, or be fired, but the law does not permit Organized Labor chiefs to force workers to pay for union advocacy about non-workplace matters.

With the help of Right to Work Foundation staff attorneys, in the spring of 2014 the four Hyatt Regency employees filed federal unfair labor practice charges against the Local 5 brass with the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB).

The response the union boss-abused employees got was all too typical of the NLRB during the years it was controlled by appointees of Big Labor President Barack Obama. Two years ago, a board majority including Obama-selected Chairman Mark Pearce found that Local 5 bigwigs’ political forced-fee demand and their threat to have workers’ wages garnished if they didn’t obey were lawful!

Fortunately, thanks to Right to Work attorneys’ free legal assistance, that was not the end of the story. The Hawaii hotel workers were able to file an appeal in federal court to get the Obama NLRB’s lawless decision overturned. And this June, a unanimous D.C. Circuit panel of appellate judges agreed that the board bureaucrats had egregiously erred.

The panel, consisting of two Obama-appointed judges and a Jimmy Carter appointee, denounced Pearce’s ruling as “legally unsupportable,” “contorted,” “provid[ing] no rational basis,” and “mak[ing] no sense,” when they remanded the case for entry of a remedial order in favor of the injured employees.

The recent ruling in Unite Here Local 5 is not the only time federal judges have expressed astonishment at Pearce’s willingness to disregard the law to get the result preferred by Big Labor.

In March 2017, for example, a unanimous panel of judges blasted him for failing to explain how a decision impairing the ability of employees in Right to Work Arizona to cut off financial support for a union by resigning their membership “can be squared with [board] precedent and existing law.”

Again and again, as a consequence of the actions of Pearce and other Obama NLRB appointees, union bosses have been able to get away for years with illegally extracting forced dues and fees from dissenting workers until the federal judiciary finally put a stop to it.

And it will take additional years of legal action by tenacious employees and Right to Work attorneys before the damage wrought by the Obama NLRB is undone, to the extent it can be.

This summer, National Right to Work Committee members and supporters across the country are urging President Trump to prevent Mark Pearce from inflicting even more harm on American employees who prefer to be union-free.

Pearce’s current NLRB term ends in late August. Given his appalling record, it should be his last.

Mark Mix is president of the National Right to Work Legal Defense Foundation and the National Right to Work Committee. Mix began working for the National Right to Work Committee in 1990, becoming Executive Vice President before being named President of both the Committee and the Foundation in 2003. To read more of his reports — Click Here Now.

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Pearce’s current NLRB term ends in late August. Given his appalling record, it should be his last.
nlrb, obama, appointee, unions
Thursday, 26 July 2018 02:47 PM
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