Wash. Exam. Editorial Rehashes Old Falsehoods About EFCA, Card Check, Obama Appointee Becker

In an April 26 editorial, The Washington Examiner rehashed an old right-wing talking point about the Employee Free Choice Act (EFCA), falsely claiming that “card check...would have abolished secret ballots in workplace organizing elections.” In fact, as Media Matters has repeatedly documented, the EFCA would have given “workers a choice of forming a union through majority sign-up ('card check') or an election by secret ballot,” as Christian Science Monitor noted in March 2009.

The editorial also attacked National Labor Relations Board member and Obama appointee Craig Becker, claiming he has “pushed the union regulatory agenda to radical new extremes.” In fact, during his confirmation hearings, Becker said that the question of whether to alter rules for unionization “rests with Congress, not with the board” and that employers have a “legitimate interest” and “indisputable” right to express views on unionization.

From the editorial:

A New York Times headline in January told the story: “Union membership in U.S. fell to 70-year low last year.”


These trends became evident at the same time that union leaders had unlimited access to what were most likely their most sympathetic president and Congress ever, in great part because the labor chieftains spent nearly half a billion dollars on behalf of Democratic incumbents and candidates in the 2006 and 2008 elections. With President Obama and a Democratic Congress, unions appeared certain to get their No. 1 legislative priority -- card check, which would have abolished secret ballots in workplace organizing elections. With card check as law and Obama putting labor favorites in all the key positions at the Department of Labor and National Labor Relations Board, surely the decline in union membership would be reversed.

Instead, card check is a dead letter, and about all that labor has left is a bunch of Obama appointees who are determined to grab as much power as possible via the federal bureaucracy. Nowhere is this more evident than at NLRB, where board member and former union lawyer Craig Becker has pushed the union regulatory agenda to radical new extremes. “Obama placed Becker on the NLRB with a recess appointment. Within three months, the National Right to Work Foundation had filed 13 motions noting Becker's conflicts of interest in decisions before the NLRB,” The Weekly Standard's Mark Hemingway recently noted. “Oblivious, Becker has participated in handing down rulings in at least 17 cases involving unions he represented as a lawyer. In each of those cases save one, Becker ruled in favor of the unions,” Hemingway said.