- - Monday, December 26, 2016


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.


Chairman, NLRB (1983-1987)

Charlottesville, Va.



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