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June 02, 2003

Federalism Hypocrisy by GOP on Labor

It should come as no shock at this point that the Bush administration are complete hypocrits on federalism, since when it serves rightwing ideology, they stomp on local and state iniatives with abandon.

The most recent example is a California law that prohibits companies receiving state funds from diverting that money to fund anti-union campaigns; they can use their private funds to do so, but they can't use public money. Seems eminently reasonable for the state to prevent misue of such funds, but a federal court has declared that the law is preempted by federal labor law.

Now, the National Labor Relations Board has jumped in, with its three Republican appointees voting to file a legal brief on the appeal opposing the California law -- the Democrats took the pro-states rights and pro-labor position of not doing so.

No shock on the hypocrisy but it's worth keeping score. More here:

From BNA Daily
NLRB Votes 3-2 to Oppose California Labor Neutrality Law

The National Labor Relations Board voted 3-2 to authorize General Counsel Rosenfeld to argue to the Ninth Circuit that portions of a California labor neutrality law are preempted by federal labor law, the agency announces. Chairman Battista and Members Schaumber and Acosta voted to approve Rosenfeld's recommendation to participate in the appeal and to argue that certain provisions of the law are preempted. Members Liebman and Walsh dissented. The deadline for the general counsel to file an amicus brief with the appeals court is June 4.

A.B. 1889 prohibits employers that receive state funds from using those funds to assist or deter unionization efforts by their employees. The law also requires employers to keep records to show they did not use public funds to influence unionization efforts by their workers.

The U.S. Chamber of Commerce, several other employer groups, and several corporations sued to challenge the law, which took effect Jan. 1, 2001. A federal judge ruled in September 2002 that portions of the law are preempted by the National Labor Relations Act because they regulate "employer speech about union organizing under specified circumstances, even though Congress intended free debate." Attorney General Bill Lockyer and the AFL-CIO, which intervened as a defendant in the case, appealed the preemption ruling to the Ninth Circuit, which has not yet scheduled oral argument. 105 DLR A-9 (2003)

Posted by Nathan at June 2, 2003 02:42 PM