NLRB, not Trump, the prob­lem

The Washington Times Daily - - EDITORIAL -

Na­tional Pub­lic Ra­dio sug­gests it is a con­flict of in­ter­est for Pres­i­dent-elect Don­ald Trump to make ap­point­ments to the Na­tional La­bor Re­la­tions Board (NLRB). The NLRB has been a prob­lem for thou­sands of em­ploy­ers and em­ploy­ees for years.

Pre­sum­ably Mr. Trump will ap­point peo­ple who will give re­lief to all and not tor­ture the in­ter­pre­ta­tion of the law to achieve union in­sti­tu­tional in­ter­ests and let the agency be used to ha­rass em­ploy­ers. NLRB’s in­sti­tu­tional bi­ases have been a prob­lem even un­der Repub­li­can-ap­pointed boards. The statute was writ­ten in con­tem­pla­tion of con­di­tions of the 1930s which no longer ex­ist. It has been ex­tended to en­ter­prises for which it was nei­ther de­signed nor in­tended and which have no sig­nif­i­cant im­pact on in­ter­state com­merce. Even the best ap­point­ments will not cure the prob­lems.

It is past time for ex­ten­sive statu­tory amend­ment or, prefer­ably, a new statute. The con­stant swing­ing back and forth on is­sues leaves all par­ties con­fused and un­sure about what is law­ful. The law is overly com­plex and counter-in­tu­itive, caus­ing well-mean­ing em­ploy­ers to get caught up in ru­inous lit­i­ga­tion. Many can­not af­ford ap­peals of de­ci­sions they know to be er­ro­neous, in part be­cause of the NLRB’s ar­ro­gant prac­tice of ig­nor­ing court prece­dent with which it dis­agrees.

It is ab­surd to think Mr. Trump would try to or even could sin­gle out his busi­nesses for spe­cial treat­ment. His busi­nesses de­serve the same re­lief all em­ploy­ers hope to re­ceive from a union-owned NLRB. Even if he didn’t like the vote of a NLRB mem­ber, NLRB mem­bers are pro­tected by a five-year term and can be re­moved only by im­peach­ment for mis­con­duct.

The con­flict-of-in­ter­est story is just an­other ex­am­ple of the end­less, petty, in­tel­lec­tu­ally dis­hon­est snip­ing in which NPR has en­gaged since Mr. Trump was nom­i­nated.

Hope­fully, Congress will drop the CPB’s government-sub­sidy and tax-exempt sta­tus. Why should tax­pay­ers be forced to help fund this ad­junct of the Demo­cratic Party/lib­eral left? Let peo­ple who like them place ads or con­trib­ute to their beg­ging cam­paigns. Government fund­ing of “news and commentary” is re­pug­nant.

DON DOT­SON Chair­man, NLRB (1983-1987) Char­lottesville, Va.

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