Retailers Ask Congress to Curtail NLRB

RILA urges Congress use power of purse to end NLRB overreach


The Retail Industry Leaders Association (RILA) encouraged the House Appropriations Committee to use their power of the purse to address harmful efforts by the National Labor Relations Board to aid in the creation of micro unions and ambush elections.

The House Appropriations Committee is scheduled to consider funding for the Labor, Health and Human Service, Education and Related Agencies Appropriations Bill on Wednesday.

"I write to urge you to support an amendment expected to be offered that will stop efforts by the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) to fragment workplaces through micro unions," said Kelly Kolb, RILA’s vice president for government affairs.

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RILA’s appeal to the House Appropriations Committee comes after President Obama vetoed a resolution that would have prevented changes to union elections. These ambush elections could limit the issues presented at pre-election hearings as well as increase tensions between employers and employees over private information, according to RILA.

Congressional Republicans would support efforts to stifle NLRB overreach as long as the president continues to veto labor reforms, a source close to the labor fight told the Washington Free Beacon.

"We support any attempt to stop the activist NLRB, whether it’s through direct legislation or the appropriations process. Our main concern is protecting American workers," one staffer said.

The bill being considered contains spending cuts of nearly $3.7 billion from FY 2015 discretionary funds, and is $14.6 billion below the President’s budget request.

"Through the inclusion of several important policy provisions, we have taken steps to rein in the excessive overreach of the Department of Labor and the National Labor Relations Board," said the subcommittee’s chairman, Rep. Tom Cole (R. Okla.), said in a press release.

Since the NLRB allowed small groups of employees to organize unions without the majority consent of all the workers in an organization, micro unions have spread to popular retailers as well as service providers.

On June 3, the House Committee on Education and the Workforce held a hearing titled, "Compulsory Unionization through Grievance Fees: The NLRB’s Assault on Right-to-Work." John Kline (R., Minn.), the committee’s chairman, addressed the NLRB’s recent actions.

"In recent years, the president’s appointees at the NLRB have undermined employee free choice through an ambush election scheme, stifled employee freedom through micro-unions, and restricted employee access to secret ballot union elections," Kline said.

The WorkForce Democracy and Fairness Act (H.R. 1768) and the Employee Privacy Protection Act (H.R. 1767) were both introduced in April and are awaiting consideration from the House.