Saturday, March 27, 2010

Major Pro-Union Changes Ahead At National Labor Relations Board

President Obama unilaterally appointed Craig Becker to the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) in a recess appointment.

Becker is the General Counsel to the Service Employees International Union with views so controversial that he was rejected twice by the Senate for the same appointment. By appointing him while the Senate is in recess, Obama can avoid the Constitutional prescription that his appointees must be approved by the Senate.

Randal Johnston of the U.S. Chamber of Commerce responded, saying, "Overriding the will of the Senate and providing this special interest payback contradicts the president's claim to change the tone in Washington. The business community should be on red alert for radical changes that could significantly impair the ability of America's job creators to compete."

Mark Gason Pearce, also a union lawyer, was also appointed on a recess basis, this giving Democrats a 3 to 1 vote on the NLRB. The second Republican position was curiously not filled by Obama.

This virtually guarantees a pro-union/anti-management Labor Board for at least the next year.

Expect changes in the way elections are held and the length of time between petition and voting. Unions want to compress the time as much as possible in an effort to prevent employees from hearing both sides. Our expectation is that they will get their wish.

Pre-emptive planning is suggested and, indeed, necessary to remaining non-union in light of these developments.


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