By Jason Stverak - 02/18/14 05:27 PM EST
The Obama administration spent most of 2013 reeling from scandal, after various federal agencies, most noticeably the National Security Agency, were found violating the privacy of innocent Americans.
Although the White House continually professed a mixture of ignorance, outrage and resolution to make changes, 2014 has started on the same note, with another federal board deciding that personal email addresses and phone numbers aren’t all that personal anymore.
The National Labor Relations Board, a five-member commission appointed by the president, recently resurrected a controversial rule that would provide the private phone numbers and email addresses of workers to union organizers. As part of a broader push to make it easier and quicker for unions to entrench themselves in workplaces, this proposal — which was struck down by a court in 2012 — violates the privacy of employees and shifts communicative power from the individual to the union.
The present rules governing union organizing protect the rights of individual workers, unions, employers and opponents of unionization by allowing both sides ample time to organize and make cases to employees before a secret-ballot election. The NLRB’s proposal would upset this equilibrium in several ways, most jarringly by allowing union officials to make unsolicited, after-hours calls to employees, creating a greater potential for coercion and intimidation. In fact, a survey found that 82 percent of union households would support a law allowing employees to opt out of having their personal information shared...