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.

* 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.

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?


“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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  • Politics, including American, is often like a pendulum, it swings one way, then back.

    The Democrats used to be whiners (McGovern, Mondale). But the GOP-T right is becoming ever more whiney.

    Stop belly aching. Like many other government agencies, the NLRB swings back and forth with the administration. During the Bush years (when I worked at the Board), Republicans had the majority and leaned employer. Cases like Brown U and Oakwood stripped workers of the Act’s protection and took the wind out of important organizing campaigns.

    During those years, other federal labor administrative agencies (the MSPB, the FLRA, the Impasses Panel, the Mediation Board), went anti-employer and anti-union.
    This is how American politics work. Progressives and liberals didn’t whine, they didn’t make childish calls for the abolition or defunding of those entities.

    You had the Board for 4 years. The Dems have it now. Stop whining. It wasn’t fair and balanced during the Bush years, and it isn’t now.

    Finally, Becker voted for a rerun election of the Kaiser vote. So much for the red herring that he can’t be objective when it comes to that union.

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