Roosevelt's un-Constitutional construct and its fiat decisions continued to be attacked by the courts, however, until 1935, when the "Wagner Act" (the National Labor Relations Act) gave the NLRB legislative legitimacy. The Wagner Act did not, however, change the basic goal of the NLRB, which was to facilitate the institution and propagation of American labor unions.
The NLRB, consisting of a five member board and a general counsel, all of whom are appointed by the President, still exists today as an impediment to free enterprise and a deterrent to a free labor market. The latest NLRB attack on the American economy is an attempt to overturn the 68 year-old Taft-Hartley Act.
Taft-Hartley, vetoed by President Truman and passed by Congress over his veto in June 1947, outlaws closed union shops and authorized States to enact "Right To Work Laws," which guarantee the right of any worker to refuse to join a union or to pay union dues.
Twenty-five States, half the States in the Union, have passed Right To Work Laws, the most recent being Indiana, Michigan, and Wisconsin. In each of these three States, union money was poured into propaganda campaigns to defeat the legislation. And when that failed, the unions launched court actions seeking to overturn the duly enacted State laws. All of their efforts have failed.
After 65 years, the Right To Work – i. e. anti-union – movement is moving out of the rural south and agricultural West into the labor intensive Midwest, and the unions and their Democrat sponsors are panicking.
On 15 April, the NLRB put out a call for legal briefs on whether unions should have the ability to charge a "fee" from non-members for "grievance proceedings." This a transparent "foot-in-the-door" maneuver to establish a precedent for unions to charge "fees" (aka "dues") from non-union workers – in violation of Taft-Hartley – for any union activities that can be posited as beneficial to them.
McDonalds has 35,000 restaurants in the United States and throughout the world. 85%, or 30,000, of those restaurants are franchised, and of the 1.9 million McDonalds employees, 1.5 million are employed by McDonalds franchisees – small business owners. There are 8.5 million workers in the United States employed by 770,000 franchisees. To organize 770,000 separate small businesses is impossible.
The Service Employees International Union (SEIU) has petitioned the federal government to enable the extortion of union dues from that vast untapped pool by decreeing that a franchise system is a single business unit, rather than what it actually is – a collection of small businesses.
Since it would be impossible to sell this counterproductive idea to the public – or to get it past the mountain of legal precedent that specifies a franchise as a contract between only two parties – the NLRB is exploring ways to enact a ruling out of sight of the public and out of oversight by Congress to accomplish what the SEIU wants.
These NLRB actions are clearly a panic reaction by the Democrat party to shore up the sagging revenue potential of American labor unions. The function of the NLRB is, and always has been, to assure a steady flow of union money into the coffers of the Democrat Party.
But the unions today are destitute for money. Union membership has dropped from 34% of the labor force in 1940 to 6.7% today. As the atavistic union movement falters and flounders more and more in the face of its growing irrelevance, look for the NLRB to initiate ever more tortuous subterfuges in an attempt to bolster union income.
Let me state categorically that I am not "anti-union" per se. My father was a staunch union man, and although I have not always agreed with him, I have always respected him for his position – and I have always understood that position.
My father grew up in a milieu that existed a hundred years ago. But the 1920s and '30s are gone forever, never to return. We live in the 21st century – a century of automation and interstate highways and computers and jet airplanes and job mobility and home employment opportunities that my father never dreamed of. In the rapidly changing high technology world of the 21st century, the labor union is a dinosaur.
And so is the NLRB, an institution that was declared un-Constitutional by the Supreme Court of the United States even before its creation. The NLRB was illegal in its inception and it has been illegal in its activities for the last 82 years. It's well past time to get rid of it.