The National Labor relations board this past week handed down a regulation requiring all employers to post literature on their bulletin boards informing employees of their rights to form labor unions and to collectively bargain, according to a Bloomberg article.

As AFL-CIO President Richard Trumka pointed out:

Just as employers are required to notify their employees of their rights around health and safety, wages and discrimination on the job, this rule gives clear information to employees about their rights under this fundamental labor law so that workers are better equipped to exercise and enforce them

Peter Colavito, Director of governmental Relations at the Service Employees International Union declared that

The NLRB rule simply brings the National Labor Relations Act in line with other workplace laws that require employers to post a notice in the workplace of their employees’ rights

Of course, there is plenty of hand-wringing and teeth-gnashing in reaction to the newly announced regulation. Peter Schaumber, the former NLRB Chairman appointed by George W Bush, stated “it’s arbitrary, it’s capricious . . . It just shows how activist they’re prepared to be”.

Another source of the consternation over this “job-killing” measure is none other than Andrew Breitbart’s Big Government website. Titled “Obama’ Job-Killing NLRB Strikes Again! All Employers Must Post Union Notices”, the article blasted the ruling, stating

Barack Obama’s union appointees at the National Labor Relations Board are continuing their assault on America’s job creators with yet another attempt at doing union bosses’ bidding by skirting Congress to require all employers covered by the National Labor Relations Act to post union notices in the workplace to advise employees of their ability to unionize their company.

If you want a good laugh, or a chance to facepalm, take a look at the comments below the article. Then, redstate.com linked to it in what looked like breathlessly repeating the article.

What exactly are opponents of this measure afraid of? Please explain what is so dangerous about a simple regulation stating that employers must post rules reminding or informing employees of their right to form a union and collectively bargain at the workplace. Would you prefer that employees not be informed of their right to unionize? If you are against this, do you also advocate striking down the regulations mandating employers post literature on billboards in company commons about employees’ rights regarding the minimum wage, discrimination, family leave, or sexual harassment?

I suspect that you don’t have a good, sound argument against this new regulation, and have nothing to fall back on other than your classic trigger phrases – “job killing”, “burdensome regulation”, “Democrats doing the bidding of union bosses”. You could make your efforts simpler by just screeching “Socialism! Communism! Big, nanny-state government! RAW! RAW! RAW! RAW! RAW!”

Workers banding together to protect their own interests at the workplace is a fundamental right. It’s called freedom of association, or, as described in the Constitution “the right of the people to peacefully assemble”. Business executives band together to advocate for their interests and have their own lobbyists in Congress too. They form their own unions just like middle and working class folks do. One of those organizations is called the US Chamber of Commerce. But somehow it’s a grave danger to America’s economic health and an egregious assault on liberty for those without six or more zeroes at the end of their salary number to try to do likewise.

Bertrand Russell was known most for his arguments against religious dogma, but he had this to say about the capitalist system:

Advocates of capitalism are very apt to appeal to the sacred principles of liberty, which are embodied in one maxim: The fortunate must not be restrained in the exercise of tyranny over the unfortunate

Advertisements