Guinta continues to push rollback of pro-union policies

President Obama and Congressional Democrats are quick to offer high praise for free and democratic elections…when they take place in other countries. After all, Egyptian voters can’t interfere with the Obama administration’s domestic agenda to the extent that American voters can. How so? By voting against union representation, thereby diminishing the influence of the labor unions that fill campaign coffers and provide the volunteer boots on the ground that get Obama and other Democrats elected.

But how can the government possibly hope to influence private votes conducted in individual workplaces? As we know, the most blatant pro-union legislative measures, such as card check and binding arbitration, have failed in Congress. Game over for union bosses? Not when they have a friendly administration willing to promote the unions’ agenda through regulatory agencies that often fly under the radar. Unfortunately for the unions, the 2010 election cycle’s focus on sound fiscal policy has shined light on a lot of heretofore-unexamined agencies and policies.

One of these is the National Mediation Board (NMB), which was created under President Franklin Roosevelt in 1934 to oversee union elections for railroads, and later airlines. For the first 75 years of the NMB’s existence, it never ventured into the territory of making rules; it just enforced them. That was until 2009, when the NMB suddenly enacted a new rule to help out unions plagued by flagging membership. Under previous policy, a majority of the workers in a given workplace were required to vote to join a union in order for that workplace to be unionized, but that was changed to a majority of those voting. This means that in a company with 100 workers, if only ten of those workers show up to vote in the union election, and six out of the ten vote for the union, then all 100 workers can be forced to unionize.

There may be some good news; now that the cat is out of the bag, the Republican-controlled Congress is taking action to walk back the NMB’s 2009 ruling. Included in the pending Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) Reauthorization legislation is a provision to restore the original union election rules, and keep the NMB in its traditional oversight role. The bill cleared the House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee, and is expected to come to a floor vote any day now.

New Hampshire 1st District Congressman Frank Guinta serves on Transportation and Infrastructure, and voted in favor of the FAA bill. Only a few months into his freshman year, Guinta has proved to be a strong voice against union abuses; just weeks ago he introduced legislation to ban pro-union Project Labor Agreements (PLAs) from government building contracts, which lost in a tied vote.

2nd District Congressman Charlie Bass, is generally seen as a moderate from his six Congressional terms beginning in 1994; concerns surrounding his fidelity to the conservative creed were raised by many GOP voters during the 2010 campaign. While certainly less of a bulldog than his 1st District counterpart, Bass has pleasantly surprised many detractors by holding the party line so far into his term, and supported Guinta’s anti-PLA measure, so we imagine, and hope, that he will follow Guinta’s lead again and vote to end the Obama administration’s blatant attempt to legislate through regulation.

Author: Shawn Millerick

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