February 8th, 2010—Americans for Limited Government President Bill Wilson today urged the Senate to reject Barack Obama’s nominee for the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB), Craig Becker whom Wilson said “would work around the clock to force tens of millions of workers into unwanted unions.”
“Craig Becker is just the latest in a long line of radicals nominated by Barack Obama, and until the Senate actually rejects a nominee, the White House will not get the message,” Wilson said, terming Becker’s views as “far outside the mainstream.”
“For example,” Wilson noted, “Becker has stated that radical changes to the National Labor Relations Act, could be made by NLRB fiat even if Congress did not amend the statute. That alone should disqualify him.”
According to a report published by Americans for Limited Government, “Militant on a Mission,” Becker wrote in 1993 that “employers should have no right to raise questions concerning voter eligibility or campaign conduct” and “employers should have no right to be heard in either a representation case or an unfair labor practice case.” Both views conflict with longstanding interpretations of national labor relations laws.
Adding to the controversy, Becker has stated that his proposals could be achieved without Congressional approval: “The [National Labor Relations] Board should return to the principle that a union election is not a contest between the employer and the union… Unlike the other proposals, however, it could be achieved with almost no alteration to the statutory framework.”
The ALG report suggests that “This unilateral imposition of his views regardless of Congressional approval may apply to Card Check legislation as well.” In 2006, Becker opined, “With only eight percent of people in the private sector represented by unions, how can anyone say that we should close off or narrow the means by which employees can obtain union representation?”
Under current law, unions have to provide for a secret ballot when they are organized. Unions have lobbied the Obama administration and Congress for a “card check” system that would allow unions to be organized without any ballot.
“The confirmation of Craig Becker would be nothing short of a radical departure from current laws protecting the secret ballot of workers, who have a right to decide free of intimidation whether they want to organize a union or not,” Wilson declared.
Wilson warned Senators that “A vote for Becker will be viewed as an undemocratic vote against secret ballots.”
In a recent letter to the Chairman of the Senate Committee on Health, Education, Labor & Pensions, Senator Tom Harkin, Senator John McCain wrote, “I have concerns regarding Mr. Becker’s written views, which indicate that he would prevent employers from having a role in union representation elections in their workplaces by doing away with requiring fair, secret ballot union elections when requested by an employer and I would like the opportunity to question Mr. Becker about these positions in person and in public.”
McCain currently has a legislative hold on the Becker nomination now, meaning it will take 60 votes to invoke cloture on the nomination before it can proceed to an up-or-down vote.
According to the Wall Street Journal, Becker was also responsible for the drafting of several pro-union executive orders while serving simultaneously on the Barack Obama’s presidential transition team and on the SEIU payroll.
Testifying about the orders, Becker said, “I was asked to provide advice and information concerning a possible executive order of the sort described. I was involved in researching, analyzing, preliminary drafting, and consulting with other members of the Transition team.”
In addition, the ALG report charges that Becker “instituted new policies to force political contributions from union locals in potential violation of the law; was implicated in the scandal surrounding disgraced former Illinois Governor Rod Blagojevich; endured major financial scandals; engaged in alleged intimidation of its members; pursued union contracts that would have prevented unionized nursing home workers from reporting elder abuse; gave millions of dollars to the scandal-plagued group ACORN; and hired private detectives to spy on union members.”
Wilson concluded, “The role of the radical Craig Becker at NLRB would be to implement by fiat what the Obama Administration cannot achieve legislatively — and Senators have every reason to assume that includes the implementation of ‘card check’ and the elimination of the secret ballot.”
“Militant on a Mission: Report on Craig Becker, Nominee to the National Labor Relations Board,” Americans for Limited Government, January 2010.
Senator McCain’s Letter to Senator Tom Harkin, October 20th, 2009.
ALG Nominee Alert, Craig Becker, August 2009.