During a time when unemployment is at an all-time high and the approval rating of our Congress is at an all-time low (we’re talking in the teens), one would think that our representatives in Washington would be thinking really hard about how to get Americans back to work.
But, alas, that is not the case.
At least not for one of our political parties.
But first, let me take you back a few days to Thursday of last week. That was the day a notice from the National Labor Relations Board sent shock-waves through the Republican party and big business. Sputtered the representative of one lobbying group, Peter Schaumber, a former NLRB chairman under George W. Bush: “It’s arbitrary. It’s capricious. It shows just how activist they’re prepared to be.”
The National Federation of Independent Business (NFIB) (FIB?) calls it an “unprecedented overreach of its authority…a punitive new rule…a new low…a trap for millions of businesses.”
The right-wing website GOPUSA, called it “another disgusting government intrusion into private business.”
J. Justin Wilson, managing director at the Washington-based Center for Union Facts, said of the notice issued by the NLRB: “This is nothing more than a symbolic favor to big labor from their friends at the NLRB.”
What did the NLRB do that got these peoples’ dander up?
It was horrific.
Last Thursday the NLRB issued a Final Rule requiring employers to notify their employees of their rights under the National Labor Relations Act.
In part, the Rule says this: “Private-sector employers (including labor organizations) whose workplaces fall under the National Labor Relations Act will be required to post the employee rights notice where other workplace notices are typically posted. Also, employers who customarily post notices to employees regarding personnel rules or policies on an internet or intranet site will be required to post the Board’s notice on those sites….The notice…states that employees have the right to act together to improve wages and working conditions, to form, join and assist a union, to bargain collectively with their employer, and to refrain from any of these activities. It provides examples of unlawful employer and union conduct and instructs employees how to contact the NLRB with questions or complaints.”
That’s pretty much the gist of the Rule. It merely says that employers MUST post a worker’s rights on the company bulletin board. Just notify your workers that they have certain rights as employees of your company. The Rule doesn’t create anything new, it merely says let your people know what their rights are under the law.
Apparently there are quite a few people out there that don’t want workers to know what their rights are.
And in related news, Eric Cantor, the illustrious leader of the House, sent out a memo today stating that once his members reconvene next week, they will focus on job creation. Well, sort of. Actually, what they’re going to do is enable the “job creators” in our country to have more freedom by scaling back on regulations that restrict businesses from polluting our air and water. Once those unnecessary restrictions are lifted and businesses can once again pour additional waste products into the atmosphere and into our drinking water, jobs will flourish once again as they did under the Bush administration.
What? Oh, they didn’t flourish under the Bush administration.
In addition, Rep. Cantor said in his Monday memo that his party will also work on limiting government regulations in regards to labor as well, such as the NLRB rule that advises employees about their lawful rights to organize.
Says Cantor: “By pursuing a steady repeal of job-destroying regulations, we can lift the cloud of uncertainty hanging over small and large employers.”
Notice he said uncertainty regarding employers and not employees.
That’s because millions of our country’s citizens are certain. They’re certain that they’re unemployed, and that Congress will do little in the coming weeks to change that certainty.