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Amazon, SpaceX and other companies are arguing that the National Labor Relations Board is actually unconstitutional

March 25, 2024

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The corporate attack on the National Labor Relations Board may be a response to growing support for unions

AmazonSpaceXStarbucks, and Trader Joe’s have all responded to allegations that they have violated labor laws with the same bold argument. The National Labor Relations Board, they assert in several ongoing legal proceedings, is unconstitutional.

SpaceX, for example, says that the NLRB is engaging in “an unlawful attempt … to subject Space X to an administrative proceeding whose structure violates Article II, the Fifth Amendment, and the Seventh Amendment of the Constitution of the United States.”

If these companies prevail, the entire process for holding union elections and for prosecuting employers who break labor laws – in place since the days of the New Deal – could collapse. That would leave U.S. workers more vulnerable to exploitation.

The Supreme Court upheld the constitutionality of the board nearly a century ago, soon after President Franklin D. Roosevelt signed the law that created the NLRB and made clear that workers have the right to organize and bargain collectively. Justices have also rejected similar arguments in cases involving other agencies.

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