Picketing, Hyperbole and the National Labor Relations Board

Hyperbole is defined as extravagant exaggeration. Labor disputes often lend themselves to hyperbolic statements designed to create an embarrassment for someone. This dispute is no exception.

Merriam-Webster Online defines hyperbole (not a word you hear everyday: mine) as extravagant exaggeration (as "mile-high ice-cream cones": theirs).   In a press release dated September 10, 2007 1:36:55 AM CDT, the National Labor Relations Board Union, continued to bemoan General Counsel Ronald Meisburg’s decision to challenge a Federal Labor Relations Authority decision (See NLRB v. FLRA: Round Two Coming Up).

The union announced it would picket a speech by the NLRB General Counsel in Newark, New Jersey at a celebration of the fiftieth anniversary of the NLRB Newark Regional Office. 

Picketing is not very common in Federal Sector.  Some argue that Federal employees who make the kind of money and get the kind of benefits these employees do are nott likely to draw much sympathy or support from the public citizenry.  In this case, though, I would bet the picketing isn’t seeking public support but is designed to try and embarrass Mr. Meisburg.

Also interesting is the language used by the union in its press release. The President continues his rant against the General Counsel by stating “He can no longer be trusted to enforce employee rights.”  In what can only be categorized as true hyperbole, somebody named Bert Dice-Goldberg, identified only as a picket (but presumably an employee) is quoted as saying “His (Meisburg’s) hypocritical actions have made me embarrassed to go to work in the morning.” 

I suggest Mr. Dice-Goldberg put his money where his mouth is and if too embarrassed to work, stay home in protest.  Of course, that would hopefully get him fired and perhaps lessen the rhetoric at NLRBU which, at least so far, is a veritable hotbed of hyperbole.

This is Federal labor relations in its most common iteration. Mr. Meisburg is taking a stand on a legal issue on behalf of his view of NLRB’s statute and the Federal union involved is whining about it. How much more typical could you get.

As always, any opinions stated herein are mine and mine alone.

About the Author

Bob Gilson is a consultant with a specialty in working with and training Federal agencies to resolve employee problems at all levels. A retired agency labor and employee relations director, Bob has authored or co-authored a number of books dealing with Federal issues and also conducts training seminars.