Saturday, September 10, 2011

Co-Opting Catholic Schools for Union Dues

Remember the National Labor Relations Board? In April, they made headlines trying to stop Boeing from opening a second aircraft assembly factory in a "right-to-work" state. They just published a rule requiring most private-sector employers "to post notices informing workers of their rights, including the right to join a union."

In between, the NLRB's been inspecting religious colleges and finding them insufficiently faithful to warrant an exemption from worker unions. Specifically, on May 26th, the Chicago office of the NLRB:
said that St. Xavier University had failed to demonstrate the "substantial religious character" necessary to qualify for exemption from federal labor law. As a result, adjunct professors in its employ will be allowed to organize, even though the school has argued that a faculty union would interfere with the school's autonomy as a religious institution by ceding "jurisdiction over important matters to a third party."
For the curious, the case law plainly exempts churches from much of the labor laws on First Amendment grounds:

NLRB v. The Catholic Bishop of Chicago, 440 U.S. 490, 507 (1979):
Here, on the contrary, the record affords abundant evidence that the Board's exercise of jurisdiction over teachers in church-operated schools would implicate the guarantees of the Religion Clauses.

University of Great Falls v. NLRB, 278 F.3rd 1335 (D.C. Cir. 2002) (citations omitted):
[We] exempt an institution [from the labor laws] if it (a) "holds itself out to students, faculty and community" as providing a religious educational environment; (b) is organized as a "nonprofit"; and (c) is affiliated with, or owned, operated, or controlled, directly or indirectly, by a recognized religious organization, or with an entity, membership of which is determined, at least in part, with reference to religion.

1) Is President Obama's NLRB competent to decide when Catholic universities are not Catholic enough?

2) Would President Obama's former church -- Trinity United Church of Christ in Chicago, where Reverend Jeremiah Wright Jr. was senior pastor -- be sufficiently religious for the NLRB? Or would it be treated more like a lobbying organization?

3) I thought progressives demand strict separation of church and state. Apparently, that's "inoperative" if it helps key Obama constituencies, such as "Big Labor."

4) Isn't this more evidence that, contrary to their claims, liberal disfavor choice--unless it's their choice, like overruling the student-selected graduation music or forcing Catholic charities to offer birth control in their employees' health plan.

5) Where are the neutral principles?

(via Washington Examiner)


A_Nonny_Mouse said...

Your 1 through 5 crack me up.

You act like you believe in "rule of law applied equally to all citizens" under this administration.


OBloodyHell said...

>>> I thought progressives demand strict separation of church and state.

Some separations are more separate than others.

OBloodyHell said...

I'm sure the EEOC will soon require catholic churches to allow pedophiles to remain in situ, as a follow-through to the Old Dominion Freight Lines case.

After all, it's a mental disorder, and it doesn't reduce one's capacity to teach... right?