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June 11, 2004

Red Alert- NLRB Targets Card Check

This is IT- the case every union lawyer and organizer has been waiting for under Bush. Due to disarray at the NLRB (and some strategic maneuvering by unions), the Bush folks are only now looking to cut voluntary recognition of unions-- ie. card checks -- the single most important tool used by unions.

The NLRB has essentially become a roadblock to forming unions. Every attempt to hold an election becomes a string of delays and appeals by employers, all the while workers are terrorized and fired for whatever reason can be justified during the years of delay.

So the one way unions have been able to win is by bypassing the NLRB, demanding that employers recognize a union when a majority of workers ask for it.

But now the NLRB is deciding a case involving the UAW, where two auto parts companies agreed to card-check recognition of the union in 2003. The rightwing National "Right to Work" Committee brought a lawsuit challenging the agreement, but the local NLRB judges dismissed the challenge.

But this week, the Republican majority at the NLRB voted to hear an appeal of the case-- a decision the minority Democratic members of the labor board saw as ominous:

Dissenting Democratic members Wilma Liebman and Dennis Walsh said the right to voluntary agreements between unions and managements without a secret-ballot vote of the members was settled 40 years ago. It called the majority's willingness to take the case ''unsupported -- and, indeed, highly questionable.''
A number of other anti-union cases may come down before the election, but this is a sign that the second four-year term of Bush is set to be a full-out assault on the right to organize.

Posted by Nathan at June 11, 2004 08:31 AM