Is the NLRB biased? You be the judge...

Since the union appointees at the National Labor Relations Board have taken control, there has been a common complaint emerge from those NLRB watchers in the labor relations community that the Obama NLRB has taken a decidedly pro-union/anti-employer position. Unions and their apologists, however, dispute this.


Well, if one questions whether or not the Obama NLRB is biased, one need only to look at the NLRB press releases for evidence of the “independent” agency’s bias.

Last October, after the votes were tallied in what was billed as the largest NLRB-conducted election in 70 years, the NLRB issued a press release announcing that the SEIU* had won the election:

A statewide group of Kaiser Permanente healthcare employees voted in favor of keeping their long-time union rather than switching to a rival union that had petitioned torepresent them, according to results announced late Thursday by National Labor Relations Board Regional Director Alan Reichard.

Immediately, following the election the “rival union” (the National Union of Healthcare Workers) filed objections based on what it believed to be unlawful actions (including collusion) on the part of the SEIU and the employer, Kaiser Permanente.

Almost a year later, a NLRB administrative law judge ruled in late July that the SEIU did, in fact, violate the law last during the Kaiser election.

In a strongly-worded 34-page rebuke, federal Administrative Law Judge Lana H. Parke ruled that collusion between Kaiser and its largest union so “interfered with employees’ exercise of a free and reasoned choice” that a new election must be held. In particular, Parke cited the impact of management in unfair labor practices in several smaller Kaiser bargaining units where workers voted to leave SEIU and join NUHW prior to the September-October 2010 election in a statewide unit of service and technical employees.


While the NLRB has not yet ordered a re-run election (despite the SEIU’s call for fast elections to occur), there has been nothing about the SEIU’s illegal actions and the Administrative Law Judge’s ruling on the NLRB’s press release page—only press releases about employers’ misdeeds.

Nor, was there a press release issued when another NLRB Administrative Law Judge found the SEIU guilty of having a popular rank-and-file leader and former Shop Steward illegally fired from his job. Details of the SEIU’s conduct (view here) included threats to file both “a grievance and charges with the National Labor Relations Board. (p. 11)

So, if the union appointees in Obama’s NLRB not biased, where are the press releases?

* The SEIU, of course, is the union that NLRB-member Craig Becker worked for as Assistant General Counsel, prior to being recess-appointed by Barack Obama to the NLRB.


“I bring reason to your ears, and, in language as plain as ABC, hold up truth to your eyes.” Thomas Paine, December 23, 1776


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