Obama’s tyrannical union board trying illegal ‘micro-unions’ again

October 16, 2012 06:25

NLRB has ruled in favor of the carving out of so-called “micro-unions,” smaller grouplets of workers which the union has selected in part because it thinks it can assemble a majority within those groups if not necessarily within larger workplace aggregates.



Posted by Walter Olson


In the (admittedly artificial and arbitrary) world of labor relations law, as of not too long ago, the going premise was that a union election should be held within whatever was the most appropriate bargaining unit considering the similarity of interests among groups of workers at a given enterprise. But in a ruling last year in a case called Specialty Healthcare, and more recently this May in one concerning New York’s Bergdorf Goodman department store, the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) has ruled in favor of the carving out of so-called “micro-unions,” smaller grouplets of workers which the union has selected in part because it thinks it can assemble a majority within those groups if not necessarily within larger workplace aggregates. In the Bergdorf Goodman case, to quote the National Right to Work Legal Defense Fund,

the Regional Director held that the requested unit of “full-time and regular part-time womens’ shoes associates in the 2nd Floor Designer Shoes Department and in the 5th Floor Contemporary Shoes Department” is an appropriate unit considering traditional “community of interest” factors. The Neiman Marcus Group, Inc., d/b/a Bergdorf Goodman, 02-RC-076954.

The Regional Director noted that, although the employer’s contention that a larger unit of all retail sales associates would also be appropriate or even more appropriate, the test is not the single most appropriate unit. Rather, to defeat a union’s petitioned-for unit, the burden is now on the employer to demonstrate that employees in its counter-proposed, larger unit “share an overwhelming community of interest with those in the [union’s] petitioned-for unit.

Business is up in arms about the change of policy, which it says will engender chaos and unpredictability all for the sake of giving unions a foothold in workplaces where a majority of workers do not welcome them. But a Congressional bid to cut off funding for the policy’s enforcement failed this summer on a party-line Senate committee vote.

Last year, when Overlawyered noted this emerging issue, commenter Chris Hoey wrote that it was not actually all that new:

At one point this tactic was called “extent of organization,” and was considered to be invalid as against the statutory scheme of Section 9 of the NLRA. It was used extensively in the early 60′s by the so called Kennedy and later Johnson Board. As an example of the ridiculous extremes, at one of my clients, a garment maker, the NLRB included the fabric cutters who cut 1″ and over strap widths were in the unit, while those who cut 1/2″ were excluded, notwithstanding the fact their machines were intermingled on the production floor.

The client closed the plant before the absurdity could be tested in the courts.


Walter Olson is a senior fellow at the Cato Institute’s Center for Constitutional Studies. Prior to joining Cato, Olson was a senior fellow at the Manhattan Institute, and has been a columnist for Great Britain’s Times Online as well as Reason. His writing appears regularly in such publications as the Wall Street Journal, The New York Times, and the New York Post. He has appeared numerous times before Congress and advised many public officials. The Washington Post has dubbed him the “intellectual guru of tort reform.” His approximately 400 broadcast appearances include all the major networks, CNN, Fox News, PBS, NPR, and “Oprah”. Full bio >


Editor’s note:

Obama’s radical unwavering support for unions has been largely unreported. His close friend and ally Andy Stern who was head of Service employees International Union (SEIU) was the most frequent White House visitor during Obama’s first term. See Obama state his support for SEIU and their agenda gives a glimpse of why he has given priority to unions in government contracts, stimulus spending, auto bailouts, Obamacare and virtually every aspect of his socialist agenda.

Obama said he believes he can make SEIU’s agenda the agenda of the country. In this video he thanks SEIU for their support and tells them ‘your agenda has been my agenda.” He even says that before working on his policies he consulted with the union.

Hear his commitment in his own words:

Obama isn’t just an opportunist with this union push, he is a tried and true union believer. Former SEIU president Andy Stern was the most frequent visitor to the White House while leading with socialist slogans. Now we find out that AFL-CIO boss Richard Trumka visits the White House 2 or 3 times a day and speaks with the White House daily.

We also have linked the Democratic Party with Obama’s old campaign group now known as Organizing for America and shown how they are aiding and encouraging the anti-government protesters in Wisconsin. Now American Spectator reports that “Democratic National Committee Chairman Howard Dean, a one-time presidential candidate, is the founder of a group that by mid-day of President’s Day had raised over $100,000 in a slush fund to “back” the on-the-lam Wisconsin Democratic State Senators.

This video shows how Obama thinks he and SEIU are one:



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