With the addition of Ecuador and the Philippines as signatories to “memorandums of understanding,” the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) – effectively acting on behalf of the US federal government – has agreed to engage three foreign countries in international outreach programs designed to teach immigrants how to participate in labor organizing in the United States. Ecuador and the Philippines join Mexico as signatories to the memorandums.
The agreements – which do not distinguish between those who have entered the US legally and those who have not, present several questions, including those of jurisdiction, treaty making and purpose.
The NLRB, by charter, is an independent agency of the United States government. Its members are all appointed by the President of the United States with the consent of the US Senate. It is divided into two authoritative entities: the General Counsel and the Board. The General Counsel is tasked with investigating and prosecuting unfair labor practice claims; the Board is the adjudicative body that rules on the cases brought to it.
The NLRB’s authority is legislatively limited to private sector employees (excluding governmental, railroad and airline employees covered by the Adamson Railway Labor Act, and agricultural employees) and the US Postal Service. Yet over the years, many court decisions have allowed for the board’s jurisdictional standards to become so low that almost all employers whose businesses have any appreciable impact on interstate commerce have been absorbed into the its purview, rightly or not.
What is missing from the board’s legislated organizational purview is the authority to extend its power outside the United States. Further, when it comes to agreements between the United States and foreign governments, the exclusive right to create and execute treaties in the name of the United States and/or the American people rests with the Executive Branch, pursuant to the consent of the US Senate, codified by Article II, Section 2, of the United States Constitution. By entering into agreements with foreign nations – agreements that possess the full legal weight of the United States government, the NLRB has essentially circumvented the constitutional process for entering into treaties and usurped the authorities of both the Executive Branch and the Legislative Branch of the federal government.
Additionally, the basic functions of the NLRB are meant to be centered on non-partisan arbitration and enforcement. Nowhere in the board’s legislated authority is there a proviso to advance the causes of either employers or organized labor, let alone a provision that grants them the power to teach labor organization to any demographic or faction, nationally or internationally; legally or illegally present in the United States. By entering into an agreement to provide instruction on labor organization, the NLRB has not only abdicated its mandate to be non-partisan, it has demonstrated a decided bias supporting organized labor.
Ronald J. Pestritto, Graduate Dean and Professor of Politics at Hillsdale College, writes in Woodrow Wilson: Godfather of Liberalism,
Policymaking today, in many areas of national concern such as the environment, health care, and financial regulation, is done primarily by agencies within the bureaucracy to which Congress has delegated broad swaths of legislative authority. Recent battles ranging from rules for greenhouse gas emissions to benefits that must be covered by private health insurance plans have been fought not primarily in Congress, but in or against administrative agencies that are exercising the power given to them by Congress.
The NLRB is certainly part of the Progressive Movement’s installed bureaucracy; a bureaucracy that functions parallel to the authority of elected government; a bureaucracy that functions even when our elected government does not. By entering into ipso facto treaties with foreign nations, the NLRB has permanently opened the Pandora’s box of transformative bureaucracy, and it is a direct threat to our original form of government.
Frank Salvato is the Executive Director of BasicsProject.org a grassroots, non-partisan, research and education initiative focusing on Constitutional Literacy, and internal and external threats facing Western Civilization. His writing has been recognized by the US House International Relations Committee and the Japan Center for Conflict Prevention. His opinion and analysis have been published by The American Enterprise Institute, The Washington Times, The Jewish World Review, Accuracy in Media, Human Events, Townhall.com and are syndicated nationally. Mr. Salvato has appeared on The O’Reilly Factor on FOX News Channel, and is the author of six books examining Islamofascism and Progressivism, including “Understanding the Threat of Radical Islam”. Mr. Salvato’s personal writing can be found at FrankJSalvato.com.