NLRB Accuses Major Corporations Of Creating Distractions To Cover Up Their Law-breaking

( – Thousands of workers at some of the country’s biggest corporations have tried to unionize in recent years. Some companies have faced allegations of union busting. They’ve also sued the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB). The federal agency has accused them of trying to distract from their lawbreaking.

On January 4, Elon Musk filed a lawsuit in the District Court for the Southern District of Texas and argued the NLRB is unconstitutional. The billionaire is specifically attacking the way the New Deal-era agency’s enforcement structure works. Administrative judges weigh the charges made against companies and recommend penalties that the board imposes.

Musk’s suit claims the structure isn’t lawful because the appointed judges are immune from being fired except if there is “good cause,” and that deprives companies of their constitutional right to a trial by a jury.

Other companies, including Starbucks, Trader Joe’s, and Amazon, have jumped on board with the arguments that the NLRB is unconstitutional. The Supreme Court has already upheld the constitutionality of the agency in NLRB v. Jones & Laughlin Steel Corp (1937). But the conservative majority on the high court, which has proven to be business-friendly, could reverse the decades-old precedent and upend the Labor Board.

Jennifer Abruzzo, NLRB general counsel, recently spoke at a webinar hosted by the Roosevelt Institute and hit back at the suits. She said there was “no way” the agency was going to “succumb to the pressures imposed in addressing […] and in defending the constitutionality of” its structure.

The attorney went on to say the challenges were the result of the agency “dar[ing] to issue a complaint against SpaceX,” Musk’s company, after it fired workers who spoke out about workplace issues. She explained that other companies joined the suit because the NLRB was “trying to hold them accountable for repeatedly violating workers’ rights” to form unions.

Abruzzo claimed the companies suing would rather spend their money on lawsuits, than “improving their workers’ lives” and operations.

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