Promoted from the diaries by streiff. Promotion does not imply endorsement.
This weekend, Americans across the country will celebrate Labor Day and the chance to spend an extra day with friends and family – by grilling out with neighbors, stealing an extra day on the lake with family, kicking off football season, and maybe sleeping in and recharging their batteries.
We began celebrating Labor Day in honor of the American worker – and this year, there’s much to celebrate. More Americans are working now than at any time in the last 50 years, and the economy is growing at a record pace. Consumer confidence is at record levels in the past 20 years. This is what we call “The Big Mo” – economic momentum.
But, like a dark cloud creeping up on your weekend barbecue, news this week out of the swamp is raising serious concerns over keeping the “Mo” going. President Trump unexpectedly renominated Mark Pearce (D) to a third term on the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB). In making this nomination yet again, the president could potentially stymie his own hot streak of job growth and economic development across the nation. Why?
Mark Pearce was originally nominated by former president Barack Obama, confirmed by Harry Reid’s Senate in 2010, and has since proven himself to be as pro-union, pro-labor, and anti-business a bureaucrat as anyone could ever be. In fact, The Wall Street Journal reported that Pearce overturned years of precedent in around 90 cases, and “used procedural tricks and bullying to tilt the board sharply toward union interests.”
Of Pearce’s most egregious legacies is that the board expanded the ‘joint employer’ rule, which essentially holds parent businesses (i.e. McDonald’s corporation) jointly liable for their local and privately-owned franchisors (your neighborhood McDonald’s location). As Andy Puzder, the former CEO CKE Restaurants (Hardee’s/Carl’s Jr.), writes: “Franchisers will be forced to take control of their franchisees’ employment practices […] reducing the ability of franchisees to control their bottom lines and run their businesses as independent entrepreneurs.”
Given President Trump’s background and recent positive economic track record, this is especially concerning given how large and important the franchise sector is. The International Franchise Association reports that franchises contribute over $451 Billion to the national GDP and employ roughly 8.1 million Americans – numbers which continue to rise. That is, unless Pearce has his way. It’s odd, then, that President Trump, who made draining the D.C. swamp one of his top priorities, would choose to give one of the American small business owners’ biggest alligators another term at the influential NLRB.
However, one of the beauties of America’s checks and balances is that the Executive Branch is not the end-all, be-all. American citizens, and their representatives in Congress (the Senate), can stand up to fight for what’s right. That’s exactly what’s happening next week.
Following Labor Day, franchise owners from across the country are flying to Washington, D.C. to meet with their members of Congress to discuss the issues affecting them. Representatives will have one more unique opportunity to hear first-hand from small business owners and franchisors who are most affected by the actions of the NLRB, in order to prioritize pro-business legislation in Congress.
One such piece of legislation is the Save Local Business Act. This bill would stop Mark Pearce’s regulatory overreach and restore the proper joint employer standard, thus giving franchisers the expanded ability to invest in their business and, most importantly, to create jobs. The bill has already passed the House but is currently stuck in the Senate. But it doesn’t end there, because also riding on Senate action is the nomination of Mark Pearce.
Now, there’s an opportunity for the Senate to undo the President’s unforced error and either reject Pearce’s nomination, or simply not act on it. But the American people can have a say – as always. That’s why next week’s fly-in is so important; it’s an opportunity for franchise owners to make their case to Congress regarding how Mark Pearce’s NLRB will suffocate Trump’s economic momentum and job growth, and provide a sense of urgency for Congressional action.
So even though Mark Pearce’s nomination this week was a major setback for American small businesses, all hope isn’t lost. American business owners are stepping up and making their voices heard, so that they can get back to doing what they do best – creating jobs.
That’s certainly something worth celebrating this Labor Day.
Zach Almond is the former Chairman of the North Carolina Federation of College Republicans and the founder of Uwharrie Consulting.