The Obama Administration Threatens To Sue States Over Laws Guaranteeing Secret Ballots In Union Elections

Lovely.  The National Labor Relations Board has threatened to sue Arizona, South Carolina, South Dakota and Utah over amendments to their state constitutions guaranteeing the right to secret ballot union elections.  The letters are available here.

According to the Obama Administration, the amendments conflict with federal law that allows employers to recognize a union if a majority of employees sign cards that support unionization.  I don’t see that happening often, but why should employers be allowed (under pressure from regulators, no doubt) to sign away rights guaranteed to employees under state constitutions?  They shouldn’t be, and the federal government has no business forcing the issue. 

This appears to be yet another attempt by the Obama Administration to achieve through regulation what it cannot achieve through legislation, which again illustrates the danger of a vast and powerful regulatory state that is not subject to direct control or accountability through the democratic process.  Our new Republican-controlled House of Representatives should now force the card-check issue by passing a bill specifically guaranteeing the secret ballot in union elections.

Meanwhile, the targeted states should fight for the rights of their citizens and the constitutional amendments they enacted.  I am no labor lawyer (thankfully), but I am not sure there is sufficient conflict to warrant preemption after a quick review of the primary authority cited in the NLRB letters.

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Published in: on January 14, 2011 at 2:59 pm  Leave a Comment  

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