Boehner warns biz: NLRB is ‘coming right at you’

Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio), lamenting the rise of “arrogant agencies” he said is threatening the American dream, warned the franchise industry on Tuesday that a politically motivated National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) is intent on unionizing its workers. 

In brief but forceful remarks to the International Franchise Association, Boehner called the NLRB a “political horse,” controlled by Republicans when they occupy the White House and by unions when a Democrat is president.

“They’re going to do everything they can to try to change the rules and try to find a way to organize your businesses,” Boehner told the group.

He cited the NLRB’s recent finding that the McDonald’s corporation has joint-employer status, along with its franchises, over the chain’s thousands of workers.

The designation, if upheld, could force corporate managers to the table in collective bargaining discussions and expose them to claims of labor rights violations from workers at chain stores and businesses.

“If we do nothing, our industry as we know it would simply cease to exist,” IFA President Steve Caldeira said during his introduction of Boehner.

The group plans to flood congressional offices this week with business owners upset over the decision.

Legislation introduced Tuesday in the Senate seeks to block partisan decisions at the NLRB by replacing the five-member board with a six-member format, made up at all times of three Democrats and three Republicans.

But Boehner said the NLRB flap is just one example of agencies overstepping their bounds under the Obama administration.

“I’ve never seen agencies more active, more engaged and more arrogant than anytime in my congressional career,” Boehner told the group.

“You get a government too big, that takes too much, that imposes too many rules, you’re snuffing out the American dream,” he added moments later.

Boehner said House Republicans have sought to counter the phenomenon with hundreds of oversight hearings held at the discretion of congressional committees’ GOP chairmen.

Majority status alone has not afforded Boehner the strength he needs impose his will, however, and he appealed to the group to help Republicans add to their ranks in the fall midterms.

Currently, he said, he is working with a “paper majority.”

“On any given day, 16 of my members decide they’re going to go this way, and all the sudden I have nothing,” Boehner said. “You might notice I have a few knuckleheads in my conference.”

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