Employers Step Up Becker Opposition

By March 24, 2010Labor Unions

The National Association of Manufacturers joined other employer groups on Tuesday to send a letter to President Obama urging him not to seat Craig Becker to the powerful National Labor Relations Board through a recess appointment.

The letter signed by 20 groups explains that our opposition is based on Mr. Becker’s radical views that, if put into effect on the NLRB, would drastically change our labor law system.

Our opposition to Mr. Becker is based in large part on his legal writings, which he has not disavowed, which indicate that despite his verbal assurances to the contrary he could not be impartial or objective in adjudicating NLRB cases. For example, among his many controversial and confrontational views, Mr. Becker has written that employers should have no role in union representation elections, thus calling into question whether they should be permitted to insist on secret ballot elections to determine union representation or whether they could be compelled to accept union authorization cards (“card check”). Furthermore, his writings clearly indicate that he would use his position on the NLRB to institute far-reaching changes in the law that would not merely interpret existing law, but would bypass the role of Congress in setting national labor policy.

Meanwhile, when Sen. Tom Harkin (D-IA) was asked about the status of Becker’s nomination and the possibility of a recess appointment, he said, “It’s going to happen.” Sen. Harkin chairs the Senate HELP Committee, which – after much pressure – held a confirmation hearing on Becker in February.

The Senator is an optimistic man. In the past, he’s expressed ambitious aspirations for organized labor’s highest legislative priority, the jobs-killing Employee Free Choice Act, which have thankfully failed to become reality.

Regardless of Sen. Harkin’s assertion and Labor Secretary Solis’ recent indication that Mr. Becker will likely be recess appointed, we hope that the President will recognize both the Senate’s bipartisan opposition to moving forward with his nomination and the legitimate, strongly held concerns that employers have with Mr. Becker’s views on labor law.

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