Sen. McCain Requests Hearing on NLRB Nominee, Craig Becker

By January 26, 2010General, Labor Unions

Sen. John McCain (R-AZ) has written to Chairman Tom Harkin (D-IA) of the Senate Health, Labor, Education, and Pensions Committee requesting a hearing on the nomination of Craig Becker to the National Labor Relations Board. “I strongly urge you …” is the phrase.

McCain, who serves on the HELP Committee, notes his previous objection in 2009 to the Chairman’s decision to move Becker’s nomination without a hearing. The Senate returned Becker’s nomination at the end of 2009 to the White House, which renominated him on Jan. 20.

From Sen. McCain’s letter: [Wed: Link fixed]

With the new opportunity afforded to us by Mr. Becker’s nomination being resubmitted to the Senate, it is critical that we conduct a full committee hearing on this important nomination.

The NLRB is a bipartisan body that has the crucial task of overseeing, in a balanced fashion, our nation’s workplace laws government by the National Labor Relations Act. The NLRB supervises union organization campaigns and addresses unfair labor practices by unions and employers. Through its rulings and activities the NLRB, in essence, forms the nation’s labor-management relations policy for employers and unions.

As you know, Mr. Becker has a long career of writings and activities that suggest his views concerning labor-management relations are far outside the mainstream in America. As such, I have serious questions about whether Mr. Becker has the ability to fairly consider important cases that come before the NLRB.

So does the National Association of Manufacturers.

Becker, an assistant counsel to the SEIU and AFL-CIO, is the unions’ candidate for creating a labor-backed majority on the NLRB, with the possible goal of implementing the anti-democratic Employee Free Choice Act administratively. As the leftwing The Nation recently argued, “Should Obama persevere and see his nominations confirmed, there is reason to believe that much of what organized labor hopes to accomplish via EFCA will be realized through the rule-making power of the NLRB.”

Thus, the political left and labor are counting on Becker to enact policy changes that in the American political system are the province of the policymaking branch of government, Congress. All the more reason for the policymaking branch of government to question Becker in person, on the record, at a HELP Committee hearing.

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