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Should a top federal official who flagrantly violates the law of the land be allowed to wrap himself in the flag?
That’s what a guy named Ronald Meisburg is doing. Appointed by George W in 2005 to be general counsel to the National Labor Relations Board, this former corporate lawyer has been an unabashed basher of unionization. After the labor board’s own employees voted to be represented by a union called NLRBU, Meisburg, simply refused to bargain with the union – a weird position for someone responsible for promoting good labor relations.
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It gets weirder. The union took Meisburg before an administrative law judge, who ruled that his refusal to bargain was a violation of America’s labor law. Still, the lawyer for the labor agency has refused to comply, thumbing his nose at the judge and at one of the core laws he is sworn to uphold.
Now, going from weird to warped, Meisburg has decreed that the agency’s employees must carry an American flag to every gathering where they oversee unionization elections. He asserts that the presence of the flag will impress the workers who vote in these elections with the solemnity of the law. Uh-huh. Excuse me, Ron, but would that be the same law that you’re so solemnly stiffing?
Meanwhile, this legal sharpie who doesn’t seem to like laws, has laid down the law on the most picayune details of choosing, transporting, and displaying the flag. He specifies the size of the flag to be used, requires regional offices to purchase 3-wheeled luggage carriers for them, mandates that agency employees undergo training on handling the flag, and provides a rigid 10-point instruction sheet on precisely how the flag, flag pole, and flag stand are to be assembled.
Meisburg can wrap himself in the flag, but he can’t hide his disrespect for the rule of law and spirit of electoral freedom that the flag represents.
“NLRB Burdening of Employees With Flags Is Wasteful, Hypocritical, NLRBU Says,” NLRBU press release, February 11, 2008
“Decision and Order,” NLRB Office Of General Counsel Washington D.C. and NLRBU, Cause No. 07 FSIP 90