Empowering Workers, Not Union Bosses
President Obama has so successfully politicized the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) that the Board now regularly puts labor unions ahead of the best interests of workers. At the behest of radical anti-business interest groups, the NLRB has recently overturned decades of well-established labor law. It has repeatedly made decisions that limit choices for workers and weaken the nation’s economy.
For example, in 2011 the NLRB’s acting General Counsel, Lafe Solomon, attacked Boeing for creating thousands of new jobs in South Carolina. More recently, the Board adopted ambush election rules that allow unions to hold surprise elections before workers have adequate time to learn about the consequences of unionizing and before the NLRB is even able to identify those employees who are eligible to vote. The NLRB has developed rules compelling employers to post misleading, pro-big union notices — in violation of the First Amendment — and it is now forcing businesses to give unions access to company email systems.
As president, I will return the NLRB to its intended purpose of protecting workers — not unions.
We must reverse the radicalization of the NLRB. As president, I will return the NLRB to its intended purpose of protecting workers — not unions. We will fix the way the Board operates, rein in the office of the General Counsel, undo NLRB’s anti-worker and anti-growth policies, and amend the National Labor Relations Act so that it protects all workers’ rights.
From the beginning of his time in office, President Obama nominated far-left appointees to the NLRB. After Senate Republicans stopped these misguided appointments the president tried to seat his nominees without the advice and consent of the Senate. This earned Obama a stinging rebuke by the Supreme Court, which found, in a 9–0 decision, that the president’s actions were an unconstitutional power grab.
Unfortunately, the Supreme Court’s ruling didn’t stop President Obama from stacking the NLRB with lawyers closely tied to organized labor. The result has been a series of extreme rulings that are bad for workers and the economy. That must end.
As president, I will ensure that the NLRB is no longer beholden to union bosses. I will nominate NLRB board members and a general counsel that will enforce the law, not rewrite it. My administration will enact the NLRB Reform Act, which adds a sixth member to the NLRB, stopping the Board from making decisions along party-line votes of three to two. The Act will also restrain the NLRB General Counsel by giving accused parties the right to contest complaints in federal court.
My administration will end efforts to punish businesses, like Boeing, who employ workers in states with pro-growth economic policies. As governor of Florida, I was proud of our state’s Right-to-Work laws that gave workers the right to decide whether or not to participate in a union. As president I will stop bureaucrats from attacking companies who build factories and hire workers in states like South Carolina and Florida with strong Right-to-Work laws.
We must also undo the far-left rules and decisions written by Obama’s appointees. The NLRB’s 2015 Joint-Employer decision (Browning-Ferris Industries) threatens thousands of small business owners who operate as franchises and the livelihood of millions of workers who count on them for jobs. In addition, under current law the NLRB is supposed to protect workers who choose “to refrain from any or all [organizing] activities.” But the NLRB has allowed union bosses to enrich themselves by pestering and coercing unwilling workers to join their ranks. As president, I will work with Congress to reverse the joint-employer decision, the ambush election rules, and other decisions that abet organized labor at the expense of workers and the economy.
Beyond overturning the NLRB’s egregious decisions, my administration will compel the NLRB to adopt smart regulations. As part of my plan to stop job-destroying rules, I will require all federal agencies — including independent agencies like the NLRB — to adhere to the principles of smart regulation. All new regulations must strictly observe the plain, ordinary meaning of constitutional and statutory limitations.
While other presidential candidates, like Donald Trump, Hillary Clinton, and Bernie Sanders maintain close relationships with union bosses, I will protect workers from these self-interested chieftains by signing the Employee Rights Act. The Act, championed by many Republicans including Senators Orrin Hatch and Lamar Alexander, strengthens labor law to ensure workers have the right to make free and informed choices about their workplace representation. The Act requires unions periodically establish majority support from all workers they claim to represent. Unlike proposals advocated by Democrats that would strip workers of the right to a secret ballot election, the Act guarantees all workers have the right to vote privately on their choice of representation. The Act also makes it a federal crime for labor activists to intimidate workers who do not wish to participate in a union.
As president, I’ll stop these regulations so we can grow the economy, increase employment and raise middle class incomes.
Our nation has the most productive, hard-working employees in the world. Under President Obama, however, labor force participation has fallen rapidly and wage growth has stagnated. President Obama and federal agencies, like the NLRB, are to blame. They have adopted hundreds of job-destroying regulations that discourage businesses from hiring and push Americans out of the workforce. As president, I’ll stop these regulations so we can grow the economy, increase employment and raise middle class incomes.
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