Thursday, February 04, 2010

Brown, Becker and Card-check

“By being sworn in today, a week earlier than planned, Senator-elect Scott Brown has put himself in a position to help fellow Republicans scuttle a hotly disputed Obama administration nomination to the National Labor Relations Board next week.

A vote to appoint the prominent [SEIU, AFL-CIO] lawyer, Craig Becker, appears to be the only one in coming days in which Brown’s early arrival could make a crucial difference by giving Republicans their 41st vote in the Senate, allowing them to deploy the filibuster to block the nomination.”
Boston Globe.

“Critics fear Becker would come to the board with a mission to implement the Employee Free Choice Act, using the board's regulatory powers to achieve in what Congress has not been able to do through legislation.

Unions favor the Employee Free Choice Act, which would substitute a "card check" procedure for secret balloting on union representation. Opponents say the card check approach would make it easier for union organizers to coerce employees into voting for union representation because the open process of checking to see if employees have signed union cards would replace voting in secret.

The U.S. Chamber of Congress, which represents more than three million businesses, had urged the Senate committee to reject Becker. The recommendation is only the third time in more than 30 years that the Chamber has opposed a nominee to the NLRB.”
Dow Jones

"In a letter to key senators, the Society for Human Resource Management and 22 other organizations ask legislators to reject the nomination of Craig Becker for a seat on the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB).

Becker was nominated by President Barack Obama to the five-member board in 2009 and again in early 2010, after the Senate rejected the nomination. He has been criticized by some business and employer organizations because of writings that suggest that he would take an active role in increasing the power of labor unions on the NLRB, possibly bypassing the legislative process. Becker serves as counsel to two organized labor groups—the Service Employees International Union (SEIU) and the AFL-CIO—and has taught and practiced labor law for more than two decades. He helped draft the proposed Employee Free Choice Act, which would give workers the choice of how they would want to vote for union representation—by a card-check process or a secret-ballot election."

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