In the Jobs of the Future …And an NLRB Nomination Update

By February 3, 2010Labor Unions

Labor Secretary Hilda Solis testified today at a hearing of the House Education and Labor Committee, providing a general restatement of the Administration’s positions on labor issues.

She did plug the Employee Free Choice Act, but that’s to be expected. Earlier in the Administration when the Secretary left card check out of her remarks organized labor noticed the absence, so a paragraph of boilerplate and canards is now routine.

In the jobs of the future, I will work to ensure that workers’ rights will be protected. In order to rebuild the middle class, we need to level the playing field and restore fair play for all working people. The growing inequality in wages and benefits is partially due to the increasing obstacles workers face in forming unions and engaging in collective bargaining. We need to restore their freedom to do so. This is why the President and I support the Employee Free Choice Act. I know from personal experience that union jobs are good jobs, pay higher wages than non-union jobs, and provide flexibility and benefits like paid leave, child care, education assistance, and retirement security. This legislation can help give workers a voice in the workplace.

You have to love the logic: We’ll give workers a voice by denying them a vote.

What’s else is new this afternoon on the NLRB front, that is, the nomination of union attorney Craig Becker to serve on the National Labor Relations Board? Daniel Foster at National Review’s The Corner relates an account that Scott Brown, Senator-elect of Massachusetts, will have his election certified tomorrow, and that his team wants him sworn in earlier than the previously set date of February 11. Becker’s confirmation is at stake:

The key vote is reportedly on Craig Becker, an appointee to the National Labor Relations Board that Senate Republicans feel is too pro-labor.

Marc Ambinder tweets that a spokesman for Majority Leader Harry Reid (D., Nev.) said that if Brown wants to be sworn-in tomorrow, “it’s fine” by the majority.

UPDATE (3:37 p.m.): More flurries this afternoon…

UPDATE (3:42 p.m.): More from Marc Ambinder, blogging at The Atlantic:

“They’re moving forward with controversial issues and nominations. These are votes that where his vote is the deciding one,” an outside Brown adviser said.

“This man is now the certified winner in Massachusetts. The question is whether he’s sworn in or not. There are real optical concerns about them moving forward with a nominee  — Craig  Becker — who they would in 48 hours not be able to move.”

What in the world is an “outside Brown advisor?”

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