Lawless NLRB Lawyer Owes Power to 50 Senators

A vote to confirm Biden NLRB General Counsel Jennifer Abruzzo is a vote for forced unionism. (Credit: U.S. Senate HELP Committee)

Vulnerable Incumbents Now Have to Answer For Abruzzo Radicalism

Almost immediately after she was sworn into office last year, Joe Biden-selected National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) General Counsel Jennifer Abruzzo began campaigning to undercut the very limited statutory rights American employees have vis-à-vis union bosses in almost every way she could.

Perhaps the most egregious of Ms. Abruzzo’s anti-worker initiatives is her effort, in the ongoing Cemex Construction Materials Pacific case, to routinize the imposition of union monopoly bargaining on American employees without a secret-ballot vote.

Of course, in Cemex and other matters, Ms. Abruzzo is carrying out the wishes of the Big Labor President who occupies the White House.

But she would not now be in a position to do so had not every one of the 50 Democrat senators in the 2021-22 Congress voted to rubber-stamp her nomination as NLRB general counsel just over 13 months ago.

These include several vulnerable or potentially vulnerable members up for re-election this year, such as Sens. Mark Kelly (Ariz.), Raphael Warnock (Ga.), Maggie Hassan (N.H.), Catherine Cortez Masto (Nev.), Michael Bennet (Colo.), and Patty Murray (Wash.)

Stance Taken by Ms. Abruzzo In Cemex Case is Cynical, Ahistorical, Anti-Worker 

At the time Ms. Abruzzo’s nomination as the NLRB’s top lawyer was under Senate consideration, National Right to Work Committee staff repeatedly warned every senator that she would wield the power of her office to help union officials grab monopoly-bargaining power over millions of additional workers.

Her office’s Cemex brief proves the point. It brazenly recommends the imposition of fines and other penalties on employers simply because they insist their employees get a chance to vote in a secret-ballot election before they are subjected to monopoly union control. 

Ms. Abruzzo and her cohorts sidestep the fact that the National Labor Relations Act as amended in 1947 plainly indicates that an employer presented with union “authorization” cards by a union boss purporting to represent a majority of employees is entitled to petition the NLRB for an election.

Moreover, the NLRB “shall direct an election by secret ballot and shall certify the results thereof” if the agency finds that there is “reasonable cause” to doubt union bosses’ card-based claims of majority support.

“Effectively, the stance of Jennifer Abruzzo and her subordinates is that the employer has to prove his or her innocence in opposing unionization without a worker vote before a secret ballot election can occur,” said National Right to Work Vice President Greg Mourad.

“This stance is cynical and ahistorical, as well as flagrantly anti-worker.”

Multiple Senators Could Suffer at the Polls For Backing Big Labor Radicalism

Key senators’ support for bureaucratic flouting of federal law and judicial precedent has not gone unnoticed by the Committee and its members.  

And every senator who voted to confirm Ms. Abruzzo and is up for reelection this year has an extensive record of supporting Big Labor special privileges.

Mr. Kelly, for example, has been in the Senate for under two years. But in addition to giving the green light to Ms. Abruzzo, he has already backed rabidly anti-Right to Work nominees to the NLRB itself, and pushed for expanded pro-union monopoly mandates on infrastructure legislation, making road and bridge work more expensive for taxpayers.  

As Election Day approaches, the Committee will be putting a spotlight on the anti-Right to Work records of senators on the ballot this year like Mark Kelly, Raphael Warnock, Maggie Hassan, Catherine Cortez Masto, Michael Bennet, and Patty Murray through its federal Survey 2022 program.

“In Arizona, Georgia, New Hampshire, Nevada, Colorado, Washington, and other states, the Committee will be contacting millions of identified Right to Work supporters. We will let them know where their incumbent senators and candidates who are challenging them stand on the critical question of forced unionism,” said Mr. Mourad.

“And the Committee will make it clear, through its Survey 2022 communications, that cosponsoring and voting for anti-Right to Work legislation like Big Labor’s infamous ‘PRO Act’ is not the only way politicians can expose themselves as forced-unionism advocates. The fact is, a vote to confirm Jennifer Abruzzo as NLRB general counsel is a vote for forced unionism.” 

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