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Bush order to contractors voided.

A federal judge has overturned President Bush's executive order requiring federal contractors to post notices telling workers they do not have to join unions.

The order also required posting notices to inform workers that they do not have to pay the portion of their union fees that is used for political purposes.

A Labor Department spokeswoman said the ruling will be appealed.

Judge Henry H. Kennedy Jr. of the U.S. District Court in Washington ruled Jan. 2 that the president illegally used procurement regulations to supersede federal labor laws. He said previous court decisions have established that federal and state regulators were prohibited from setting their own standards for conduct that is regulated by the National Labor Relations Act.

Judge Kennedy wrote, "In sum, the Executive Order would regulate in a core labor-management area regulated by the NLRA by imposing a duty on employers that the NLRA, as construed by the NLRB (National Labor Relations Board), does not impose. Therefore, the Order is in conflict with the NLRA and is preempted by it."

The executive order has been a ping-pong ball between Republicans and Democrats. The senior President Bush issued a similar order, but President Clinton rescinded it as one of his first acts after taking office. The current President Bush reinstated it as one of his first acts.

The executive order grew out of a 1988 Supreme Court ruling that workers do not have to pay any union dues that go for political activities. A worker who opts not to join a union may still have to pay a fee for union representation, but he can withhold that portion of the fee that would be used for political purposes.

The case is UAW-Labor Employment and Training Corp. v. Chao, Civil Action No. 01-00950
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Publication:Set-Aside Alert
Article Type:Brief Article
Geographic Code:1USA
Date:Jan 11, 2002
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