NLRB Wants to Force Companies to Turn Over Employee Contact Info

January 27, 2012 at 10:10pm
by Becket Adams

Peter Schaumber appeared on Fox’s Your World with Neil Cavuto to discuss a troubling new development within the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB).
Board Chair Mark Pearce is introducing a series of new regulations. One of these regulations, if passed, would require businesses to surrender their employee’s personal contact information to campaigning union heads.

“If the National Labor Relations Board gets its way, companies could be forced to hand over your contact information, whether you like it or not, to union leaders,” Fox host Neil Cavuto said. “Union leaders having access to your phone number, your email address?”

Schaumber, himself a former NLRB chairman, joined Cavuto to discuss his great fear: that unions will use that information to harass people not in a union.

“I think it’s terrible. Workers have a right to be left alone,” Schaumber said.
“They have a right not to be harassed during a union organizing campaign. If a worker has given his or her employer their home phone, their personal email address, their cell phone, it was in the expectation that it wasn’t going to be given to third parties but was going to be used by the employer for the purposes of what it was intended to be given for. And in most instances that’s to contact the employee under emergency situations.”


“But could companies even be allowed to do it as things stand now? I mean, there must be some — even civil libertarians who might be otherwise predisposed to like unions who must be aghast at this,” Cavuto said.

“Neil, I don’t know of any federal or state law that specifically protects this kind of information but we shouldn’t need the law to tell us what’s an invasion of privacy; it’s common sense!” Schaumber said.

“But it’s also like if you – you get an email address for a vacation site, or what have you, and before you know it, you’re getting emails from folks who manufacture those loud vacation shirts and luggage and everything else, because someone obviously has sold your name and address to other entities. That’s one thing. But when my boss does it, that’s another. Isn’t it?” Cavuto ask.

“Well, your boss isn’t going to want to do it. But what it’s going to be is that the NLRB is going to require it,” Schaumber answered. “It’s going to the the federal government requiring this kind of personal information disclosed to unions.”

“But peter! Again, you’re the smart guy, I’m the dumb guy, there’s no way that that is kosher,” Cavuto said. “You know what I’m saying? You cannot force a company to essentially open up its databanks to union sympathizers and say ‘Have at it! Contact these people!’”

“Neil, I agree with you I think most Americans agree with you but remember: we have appointees to the National Labor Relations Board that are union advocates,” Schaumber said. “They want to stack the deck in favor of unionization and the desires of organized labor take priority over the interests of workers and the legitimate interests of management.”

And for those who remain skeptical that the NLRB would ever try to pass this regulation, consider the following:

At the end of 2011, the NLRB had three vacancies. Since then, all five board seats have been filled. The last three members added to the NLRB were never vetted, voted on, or approved by Congress.

Designated as “recess appointments,” Department of Labor Attorney Sharon Block, labor lawyer Richard Griffin, and NLRB counsel Terence Flynn were all appointed to the NRLB (without any Congressional approval) by President Obama.

The Senate was running in a “pro forma” session (“open for business in name with no actual business planned”), which means, technically, they weren’t “recess” appointments at all.

As Sen. Mitch McConnell (R-VA) said when the president “recess” appointed Richard Cordray as the nation’s chief consumer watchdog:
…this lands this appointee in uncertain legal territory, threatens the confirmation process and fundamentally endangers the Congress’ role in providing a check on the excesses of the executive branch
“On January 4, President Obama announced his decision to appoint three new members to the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB),” NYULocal‘s Rebecca Nathanson writes.
“The board had previously been at risk of losing its ability to rule on cases as only two of its five seats were occupied, but the appointments…gave the Board a quorum,” Nathason added.
Considering that President Obama is no stranger to unions or union leadership, Schaumber’s charge that the NLRB has been stacked with union advocates might not be too far off the mark.

President Barack Obama & President of the AFL-CIO Richard Trumk