WASHINGTON (Jun. 13)
The National Labor Relations Board was sharply criticized today for permitting appeals to racial and religious bigotry by employers and unions in collective bargaining elections.
In testimony before the House Committee on Education and Labor, Will Maslow, executive director of the American Jewish Congress, said the NLRB had consistently upheld the use of racial and religious epithets, defamatory libels and similar expressions in deciding unfair labor practices cases and in reviewing Labor Board elections.
“Such appeals to prejudice poison the atmosphere and make it impossible to conduct a free and fair election, ” the American Jewish Congress spokesman declared. “Yet the NLRB and its general counsel apparently consider inflammatory, derogatory and abusive statements of this kind perfectly proper and permissible.”
He told the House Committee, currently probing NLRB activities, that the board was “wrong” in interpreting the free-speech provision of the Taft-Hartley Act to permit bigoted appeals. “The Act seeks to protect appeals to reason, not to sanction appeals to bigotry, ” Mr. Maslow declared.