For the second time in as many months, a federal court has ruled that the National Labor Relations Board cannot force employers to put up posters informing their workers of their right to form a union. This month, the U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in Richmond, Va. basically ruled that the NLRB’s order violated free speech and that the NLRB did not have the authority to require businesses to put up such a poster. In May, the Circuit Court of Appeals in Washington DC ruled in similar fashion but also reminded those involved that all rulings issued by the NLRB in the last few years are in question as the Obama administrations recess appointments to that Board have been ruled illegal by the courts.
The 2011 rule required some six million employers to affix notices in their workplaces, and on their Internet sites, informing employees of their legal union “rights” on everything from collective bargaining to wearing union “hats, buttons, t-shirts and pins” at the office. It is now up to the NLRB to determine if they are going to appeal the rulings or drop the requirement. In the meantime, the Obama administration appears to be stalling on their response to the court’s ruling on the Board appointments
Union membership has been in a steady decline over the past 25 years, especially in the private sector. There are those who believe that while the NLRB was established as an unbiased arbiter, the Obama administration has turned it into a pro-union, anti-right-to-work organization.