President Obama’s nominee to the National Labor Relations Board, SEIU counsel Craig Becker, was voted out of the Senate HELP Committee yesterday by a 15-8 vote, despite his never having to go through a committee hearing. Sen. John McCain (R-AZ) has placed a hold on his nomination.
In a letter to Committee Chairman Tom Harkin (D-IA) before the committee session Wednesday, McCain wrote:
While it is the President’s prerogative to nominate who he wishes, it is our duty in the U.S. Senate to review all of the Administration’s nominees. I have concerns regarding Mr. Becker’s written views, which indicate that he would prevent employers from having a role in union representation elections in their workplaces by doing away with requiring fair, secret ballot union elections when requested by an employer and I would like the opportunity to question Mr. Becker about these positions in person and in public.
- WSJ Washington Wire, “NLRB Nominee Gets Mixed News From Senators“
- Washington Examiner, Bill Wilson op-ed, “Why did Obama appoint Gary Becker to the NLRB?“
- Workforce Management, McCain Delays Vote on Labor Board Nominee“:
With a bill that would make it easier for workers to form unions stalled in the Senate, many observers say that it is possible for a Democratic-majority NLRB to implement changes that would benefit labor in organizing campaigns.
“They could achieve through decision-making a lot of the facets that the Employee Free Choice Act in its current form proposes,” said John Bowen, a partner at Ford & Harrison in Minneapolis.
But he cautioned that major policy changes made by the board would be ephemeral.
“You’d be flipping back and forth depending on who’s in the White House,” Bowen said.
Ephemeral employment policy is bad, too.
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