- The Washington Times - Wednesday, October 21, 2009

After they dropped a cool billion dollars in the 2008 elections, it’s no secret the national union bosses have been looking for payback ever since the 111th Congress was sworn in. And since taking office, President Obama has been more than happy to deliver.

Right away, an Obama executive order blacklisted nonunion workers from working on federally funded construction projects. Then the Labor Department rolled back union-boss disclosure requirements. Mr. Obama hasn’t been shy about using his executive power to give Big Labor all the goodies he can.

So it should come as no surprise that several high-profile Obama nominees to key positions in the Department of Labor and National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) are longtime Big Labor lobbyists and compulsory unionism hard-liners.

But Craig Becker, Mr. Obama’s latest nominee to the NLRB - the quasi-judicial agency that administers federal labor law - is a radical, even by Big Labor’s standards.

With just some of the NLRB’s most important functions including overseeing secret ballot elections and resolving unfair labor practices committed by union organizers, it’s easy to see why a militant NLRB is one of Big Labor’s most treacherous accomplices in increasing its radical forced-dues power.

When the union bosses have the NLRB in their fold, workers who try to exercise their legal rights to dismiss unwanted union monopoly bargaining agents - or even to stop their forced dues from being used to elect handpicked Big Labor candidates - are denied even the most basic protections.

That’s why, especially considering Mr. Becker’s record, it’s not a stretch to believe that - should he be confirmed by the U.S. Senate - Mr. Becker wouldn’t think twice about rubber-stamping even the most abusive forced unionism schemes cooked up by union militants.

In fact, as a former AFL-CIO and Service Employees International Union (SEIU) lawyer, Mr. Becker is solely responsible for forcing tens of thousands of workers under union boss control.

In one case, reports from a Los Angeles SEIU local union revealed that almost 63,000 people rejected membership in the union in 2007, but thanks to Mr. Becker, were still forced to pay dues.

And Mr. Becker’s own words explain why. He was even so bold as to say unions were “formed to escape the evils of individualism and individual competition … their actions necessarily involve coercion.”

With that kind of anything-goes attitude, it’s no surprise Mr. Becker supports “home visits,” in which union militants repeatedly harass workers at home until they sign union-authorization cards, and even advocates letting Mr. Obama’s handpicked arbiters impose contracts on workers, without even allowing the workers to vote on their own contract.

In fact, Mr. Becker is so extreme he actually believes the only choice workers should have is which union they should be forced to join and pay dues to!

In Mr. Becker’s view, if an independent worker refuses to pick, he and the rest of Big Labor’s lackeys on the NLRB should be able to choose a union for that worker. This kind of Big Labor kowtowing is not only outrageous, but it’s also dangerous.

After all, American workers are the ones who are going to the pay the price every time the NLRB grants union officials more illicit power.

With the Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions (HELP) Committee due to take up the nomination this week, right now is the most crucial time to expose Mr. Becker’s forced unionism record.

Of course, to stop Mr. Becker’s appointment, the full Senate must reject him, but if the HELP Committee doesn’t do its job by probing his radical views, it’s safe to say that won’t happen.

That’s why it’s vital all opponents of forced unionism hold Mr. Becker accountable by contacting their senators and demanding they don’t just let Mr. Becker skate by without having to answer questions about his radical views.

Instead, the Senate HELP Committee should reject Mr. Becker’s nomination to the NLRB in committee - before it’s too late.

Mark Mix is president of National Right to Work, a grass-roots organization opposing compulsory union membership or coerced dues.

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