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NLRB Stacked Against Workers

August 8, 2003

Now that all five members of the National Labor Relations Board are administration appointees, expect anti-worker decisions from the federal arbiter of labor-management disputes.

Labor observers are particularly appalled at the newly activist nature of the NLRB, which recently joined in the fight to strike down a California law preventing employers from using tax dollars for anti-union campaigns. The U.S. Chamber of Commerce, which filed the attempt to require taxpayers to help corporate interests fight organizing drives, found a powerful ally in the NLRB. The NLRB rarely intervenes in cases that do not address its own decisions.

Union members have cause for concern that the NLRB may revisit decisions made under earlier administrations on such vital subjects as representation of nonunion workers, the status of temporary workers and so-called "paycheck-protection" issues.

"I expect the acceleration of right-wing anti-labor policies to explode in the second [Bush] term, if there is one," said New York University law school Brennan Center for Justice attorney Nathan Newman, adding that it is likely there will be a "frontal assault on the National Labor Relations Act that would further gut labor rights across the board."