As noted yesterday, the National Association of Manufacturers sent a letter to members of the Senate Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions Committee opposing the nomination of Craig Becker, associate general counsel for the SEIU, to serve on the National Labor Relations Board. In addition, the NAM joined other trade associations in a separate letter opposing Becker for his outside-the-mainstream views on labor issues that could hand over the control of business operations from the business owner to organized labor.
The HELP Committee begins its markup at 10 a.m. this morning without ever had a public hearing on the nominee. The NAM does not oppose the other two nominees — Mark Pearce and Brian Hayes — but believes that Becker’s confirmation should not go forward without a full public airing of his writings and views.
Updates and coverage…
A thorough piece from Kevin Bogardus of The Hill, “Business, labor bring fight to NLRB,” includes a good summary of the political dynamics from Richard Hankins of McKenna Long & Aldridge:
As card-check has stalled in Congress, business groups’ attention has increasingly turned to the administration, which has taken more action on labor’s priorities, according to Richard Hankins, the head of McKenna Long & Aldridge’s labor and employment practice.
“The shift in labor policy toward labor’s agenda is in these other areas right now,” said Hankins, who has represented employers before the NLRB.
In The Washington Times, an op-ed by Mark Mix, president of National Right to Work, “A radical by the board…” Excerpt:
Mr. Becker supports “home visits,” in which union militants repeatedly harass workers at home until they sign union-authorization cards, and even advocates letting Mr. Obama’s handpicked arbiters impose contracts on workers, without even allowing the workers to vote on their own contract.
In fact, Mr. Becker is so extreme he actually believes the only choice workers should have is which union they should be forced to join and pay dues to!
In Mr. Becker’s view, if an independent worker refuses to pick, he and the rest of Big Labor’s lackeys on the NLRB should be able to choose a union for that worker. This kind of Big Labor kowtowing is not only outrageous, but it’s also dangerous.
The committee mark-up starts soon, and we’ll try to report on developments.
UPDATE (10:45 a.m.): HELP Committee votes out Becker’s nomination; GOP Senators Enzi and Murkowski join Democrats in voting yes; other Republicans vote no.