That would be one way—a very strange but ultimately logical way—to interpret the 3-2 vote last week by the Obama National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) allowing unions to hold organizing elections on such short notice that no employer would have time to assemble reasonably comprehensive arguments against unionization, and mandating union access to employer-owned email systems and employees’ personal information for use in “organizing” (read: intimidation) campaigns.
Unions can conduct votes on ten days’ notice. Employers must hold a pre-election hearing within eight days of receiving notice. No information that isn’t presented in an employer statement one day before the hearing can be brought up at the hearing. Oh, and unions get to use company email and employees’ home addresses, home phones, and home email to “convince” them to support organization.
The weekend The Wall Street Journal said the NLRB compares union email access to employees gathering on their own time at a “cafeteria” to discuss union activities. Well, okay, but there’s a word for people hanging out at a “cafeteria” for purposes other than business with the cafeteria: Loitering.
In Wisconsin, at least, this is an especially inopportune moment for the NLRB’s naked display of strong-arm tactics. It will succeed mainly in giving a high-octane boost to the growing momentum for right-to-work legislation. Unions might get to exercise the powers asserted by the NLRB—so strongly suggestive of a Mafia protection racket—but if they can’t force workers to pay dues, what’s the point?
Think of it as the NLRB giving Big Labor bosses permission to fish on Wisconsin employers’ pond. The NLRB may be able to do that, but there’s nothing to prevent the Wisconsin Legislature draining the pond before the bosses get there.