Recent Press Releases

Thune, Noem Slam Obama Administration's Decision to Sue South Dakota

Labor board seeks to push pro-union agenda, invalidate state's secret ballot law

April 26, 2011

WASHINGTON, D.C. — Senator John Thune and Representative Kristi Noem today issued sharp criticism over the National Labor Relations Board’s (NLRB) announcement to move forward with a lawsuit against the state of South Dakota to invalidate a constitutional measure to allow workers to hold secret ballot elections before a company could be unionized, which was overwhelmingly approved by South Dakota voters in 2010 with 79 percent of the vote. The NLRB also announced plans to take legal action against the state of Arizona to invalidate a similar law that was adopted by voters last year, and is looking at future legal action against South Carolina and Utah.

“Since the start of the Obama Administration over two years ago, we have witnessed countless federal power grabs, but suing an individual state might be the most brazen attempt yet by the Obama Administration to push their job-destroying, pro-union agenda,” said Thune. “The Obama Administration has once again put politics over job creation and economic growth. South Dakota ought to be allowed to make their own laws that affect the state’s workers without the federal government overreaching and imposing politically infused policies.”

“South Dakotans last year overwhelmingly reaffirmed the principle that elections by secret ballot are an essential part of our democracy, and the union-backed ‘card check bill’ to take away the secret ballot is now considered dead on arrival in Congress. Yet despite all this, the NLRB and the Obama Administration are siding with special interests and big labor bosses by filing this lawsuit against the state. Rather than suing states over state issues at the behest of big labor, the Obama Administration should be focusing its efforts on creating jobs and expanding domestic energy production to lower gas prices,” said Noem.

The NLRB and unions have consistently pushed for card check legislation that would invalidate all secret ballots, but have continually met resistance throughout the country at such job-destroying policies.

In addition to the NLRB lawsuit against South Dakota, Thune and others are growing increasingly concerned about a draft presidential Executive Order (EO) that may be issued by President Obama soon that would require all federal contractors to first show all political activities before being awarded any federal contract. This appears to be yet another attempt to infuse politics into an area which should be competitive and free of political bias. Thune joined a group of 27 Senators today in sending a letter to the president to urge him not to issue the EO.