Any doubt of Obama’s pro-union inclinations, and concerning his past as a community agitator there was very little, evaporated in February 2010 with the nomination of former AFL-CIO and SEIU attorney Harold “Craig” Becker to the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB). Appointing a union hack to oversee employer-labor relations in America didn’t go over well with Senate Republicans who filibustered the nomination. But no matter, one month later Obama took advantage of a break in Congress’ schedule to make a recess appointment of Becker to the NLRB on March 27, 2010.
The Becker appointment gave Democrats a 3-2 majority on the NLRB where they proceeded to abandon any semblance of impartiality and pursue an undeniably pro-union agenda. Bush era rules protecting secret ballot elections following card-check organizing efforts were overturned while business unfriendly regulations like allowing the micro-unionization of workers based on job description alone and forcing businesses to post notices of collective bargaining rights in the workplace were allowed. The rule changes may have done little to create jobs or boost prosperity during a bad economy, but they much to raise Obama’s prospects with organized labor that had spent $200 million on his election in 2008.
In May 2011 the NLRB took their pro-union bent to the next level when they sued Boeing for building a second 787 Dreamliner assembly plant in the right-to-work state South Carolina. For decades Boeing had been rocked with labor strikes pretty much every time a new contract was negotiated with their Washington based workforce, losses that had cost the company billions of dollars. Opening a new assembly plant outside Charleston, SC would allow the production of Boeing’s most popular plane to continue even in the case of a labor dispute.
The NLRB lawsuit against Boeing had little to do with federal law and everything to do with promoting a pro-union agenda. “This is a rather large, rather straightforward case,” said Mara-Louise Anzalone, counsel for the NLRB acting general counsel. “What we have is a transfer of union work to a non-union location.”
The union was given the extraordinary power to veto a settlement between Boeing and the U.S. government. According to Boeing lawyer William Killberg, “The NLRB made Boeing an offer, which Boeing accepted… We were told that the [NLRB] board consulted with the union and decided to withdraw the deal,” Killberg said.
Congress was not amused when they got wind of the litigation. Using government resources to harm a sovereign state’s right to poach workers from business unfriendly territory wasn’t what legislators had in mind when it came to the role of government. It also meant taxpayers would be forking over millions to fund frivolous litigation that unions should have been paying for themselves.
During an investigation by House Oversight and Government Reform Committee the NLRB was caught lying. In response to a congressional subpoena, the NLRB falsely claimed that it turned over all documentation with the exception of that which concerned “the rights of litigants”. It was later reveled that relevant emails, which had been provided to Judicial Watch in response to an FOIA request, had been withheld from Congress. NLRB officials had written to each other “Hooray for the red, white and blue” and “Good. I like this part” in support of union legislation exposing their pro-union bent.
Rep. Issa responded with a letter to the NLRB stating “while you have attempted to mask such defiance under the cloak of the rights of litigants, it now appears you have intentionally withheld responsive documents that do not implicate the rights of litigants. Instead they demonstrate a lack of impartiality of the NLRB.”