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Business Vs. Unions Now Moves Off the Hill

Organized labor is also keeping an eye on the NLRB and other executive agencies, but with a slight grin on its face. Kimberly Freeman Brown, the executive director of the union-backed coalition American Rights at Work, said her organization is pleased with the NLRB’s recent track record. 

“We’re optimistic that this board is committed to doing its mandate,” she said. “We pay attention to what’s happening at agencies like NLRB, the Department of Labor and others to make sure the rights and interests of workers are being protected as they do their jobs … where there are opportunities for public comment, we try to do that.”

In addition to slogging through tedious regulatory work, card-check foes said they are planning to lean on incoming House Oversight and Government Reform Chairman Darrell Issa (R-Calif.) to draw attention to the NLRB.

“You’re going to see a lot more cooperation between the downtown community and House chairman because oversight is one way you can get at overactive agencies,” West said.

A Republican public relations consultant agreed that Republicans’ best bet at fighting new labor rules is through the new House majority’s oversight privileges. The source also said bureaucracies such as the NLRB present real messaging challenges that are not insurmountable, but require a different approach.

“No one’s ever heard of half of these agencies. These are nameless, faceless individuals who are afforded an opportunity through rulemaking to vastly change the landscape with the business world,” the source said. “The White House thinks that they’re going to be able to reward their buddies through theses agencies and the noise level won’t get to a point where it hurts them or distracts them. My job is turn up the volume as loud as I can.”

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