Todays word on the state of our state, our nation, and the world.
Anti-business policies have unfortunately become the norm for the Obama Administration. From the Affordable Care Act to Dodd-Frank, the last six years have been hard for job creators across the United States, even as they strive to hire new workers and lift an anemic economic recovery.
Anti-competitive regulations have taken center stage in recent days with the implementation of a new rule by President Obama’s National Labor Relations Board (NLRB). The aptly named "ambush" election ruling, which came into effect on April 14, allows labor bosses to call organizing elections in as few as 13 days – down from the previous average of 38 days.
This policy change has no practical explanation, other than it is repayment to union bosses who spent $1 billion to help elect and re-elect President Obama. As union membership has declined in recent years, President Obama has stacked the NLRB with Big Labor cronies who have continually enacted policies that make it significantly harder for employers, particularly small businesses. The "ambush" election ruling is just the latest iteration of an anti-business agenda enacted by the Obama’s Labor Board at the behest of union bosses.
According to the NLRB’s own data, the shorter the election time, the more likely it will be for a shop to approve unionization. Between 2004 and 2014, labor bosses were successful in 60 percent of elections that occurred within 36 to 42 days. However, when elections were held in under 21 days, they were victorious an incredible 86 percent of the time. Moving up election times disproportionately tips the scales toward union bosses – exactly what Big Labor and the Obama Administration intends.
While this policy is bad for all employers, small businesses would be acutely affected. These companies, which account for nearly 50 percent of private sector employment , often operate on razor-thin margins. Under the "ambush" election rule, union bosses will be able to lay the groundwork for months to prime workplaces for elections, putting small businesses on the defensive. Unfortunately, smaller companies frequently do not have in-house labor lawyers and will not have adequate time to obtain the necessary counsel to ensure they are complying with all laws.
Additionally, under the new "ambush" rules, union organizers can approach any worker for their support, but voter eligibility will not be determined until after the election. This is a stark change from tradition, which allowed workers ample time to secure information prior to the election. Worse, employers’ automatic post-election NLRB review will now be eliminated, replaced by discretionary reviews. Looking at the new rule as a whole, it is clear that the Obama Labor Board has done everything it can to ensure union bosses are significantly better off.
Earlier this year, pro-business members of both the U.S. House and Senate passed a bill that would have overruled the NLRB on the "ambush" ruling. Predictably, President Obama vetoed the bill making it only the fourth piece of legislation that he has rejected. Despite famously calling for a new way of doing business in Washington, D.C., President Obama continues to show an unwavering proclivity for helping Big Labor at the expense of American small business owners.
These policies are seriously hurting the very backbone of our economy. And they must be stopped.
Hector Barreto is the former administrator of the Small Business Administration.