Since the beginning of the NLRB, in 1935, as an independent federal agency set up for purposes of keeping the peace at the work places for all Americans the board has done it’s work without lots of attention from the average citizen except for by union reps and management lawyers. NLRB is the”National Labor Relations Board” and with the goal of, “Keeping the peace at the workplace” has had the legal functions of 1. To decide, when petitioned by employees, if an appropriate bargaining unit exists for collective bargaining; 2. To determine by secret-ballot elections (conducted by the NLRB) whether the employees in a business or industry wish to be represented by labor unions; and 3. To prevent or correct unfair labor practices by employers and unions.
Although decisions reached by the NLRB are without the power of enforcement, the Board can seek enforcement through a U.S. Court of Appeals. For example, NLRB rulings have led to the establishment of industrial unionism. And, these rulings led to the development of unions for employees in the public sector.
Before I retired from the faculty, I served as president of the Massachusetts State College Association (MSCA) -the union for the faculty of the nine public state colleges of Massachusetts. Following the outcome of NLRB rulings was an interest of mine as the MSCA president. And even in retirement I continue to follow the cases and issues that come to the NLRB for a ruling. And then in most cases go the Court for a decision of support or rejection.
Because the NLRB decisions have to be presented as petitions for the US. Court of Appeals to rule on, it is necessary to watch for decisions handed down by the judges of the US Appeals. One judge that has put out his decisions regarding the NLRB is the Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh. And sadly enough for anyone interested in labor relations, Kavanaugh consistently has reached decisions that are seriously against rights of workers to organize themselves.
He, Kavanaugh, if chosen today will make for a majority of Supreme Court justices who will lean toward an anti labor sentiment. Just google Kavanaugh’s decisions against the NLRB rulings since the time he was appointed to the DC Court of Appeals to see how he sees the role of the NLRB in providing for worker rights. Unfortunately, due to the failure of the Senate Judiciary Committee to fully review Kavanaugh’s decisions in regards to the NLRB there hasn’t been any discussion on his anti union sentiments from Senator who are about ready to vote on his confirmation.
Woe is the state of the union along with all other just causes and rights enjoyed by women and men when Kavanaugh begins his Supreme Court duties.