New NLRB Made to Order For Big Labor

‘Recess’ Appointee: Workers Shouldn’t Be Allowed to Reject Unions

(Source: April 2010 NRTWC Newsletter)

On February 9, union lawyer Craig Becker, nominated by President Obama to fill one of three vacancies on the powerful National Labor Relations Board (NLRB), turned out to be too radical even for a number of normally pro-Big Labor U.S. senators.

Because of several union-label senators’ defections, union lobbyists and the White House fell eight Senate votes short that day of the 60 they needed to cut off Right to Work debate and bring the Becker nomination up for final consideration.

This vote was a significant victory for National Right to Work Committee members and supporters, who had led the fight against Mr. Becker since his selection was first announced last spring, and their allies.

However, top union bosses were furious that, because of well-mobilized Right to Work opposition, Big Labor Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) had failed to ram through the Becker nomination.

Almost immediately, Richard Trumka, chief of the AFL-CIO union conglomerate, publicly demanded that the President circumvent the Senate and install Craig Becker on the NLRB temporarily through a “recess” appointment.

Other union bigwigs like Andy Stern, czar of the massive Service Employees International Union (SEIU), were also cheerleading for Mr. Becker. For years, Mr. Becker has served as counsel for both the SEIU union and the AFL-CIO.

Craig Becker: Union Monopoly Should Be Mandated, Even if Most Workers Don’t Want It

And on Saturday, March 27, President Obama did the bidding of the union hierarchy by recess appointing Mr. Becker, along with the other union lawyer he has nominated to the NLRB, New Yorker Mark Pearce.

“In the past, Presidents have rarely granted recess appointments to nominees who have already come up for consideration in the full Senate, and failed to be approved,” noted Mark Mix, president of the National Right to Work Committee

“But President Obama has demonstrated time and again he is extraordinarily eager to please Big Labor bosses. Craig Becker and Mark Pearce are fresh examples.”

While Mr. Becker and Mr. Pearce will very likely almost always agree on the main issues in NLRB cases, Mr. Becker differs in having a long “paper trail” that made it plain for senators and anyone else with eyes to see just how radical he is.

Three of Four Current Board Members Are Veteran Union Lawyers

“Over the years,” said Mr. Mix, “Craig Becker has publicly acknowledged believing that any employee or employer efforts to resist unionization of a workplace are unacceptable.

“For example, in one ‘labor studies’ journal article, Mr. Becker dismissed the notion that workers should have any say whatsoever, whether as individuals or collectively by secret ballot or ‘card check,’ over whether or not they are unionized.

“Federal policy should not acknowledge employees’ ‘choice to remain unrepresented,’ contended Mr. Becker.

“Their only choice, he explained, should be over which set of union officials get ‘exclusive’ power to negotiate their wages, benefits and work rules.”

Incredibly, Craig Becker and Mark Pearce are not the only union lawyers on the current, four-member NLRB.

Wilma Liebman, originally appointed to the Board by union-label President Bill Clinton and elevated to the chairmanship early last year by Barack Obama, is an ex-lawyer for the notorious Teamster union.

“Ms. Liebman, Mr. Becker, and Mr. Pearce are all expected to vote in lockstep to increase Big Labor’s monopoly-bargaining and forced-dues powers over the individual employee whenever they see an opportunity,” commented Mr. Mix.

“And this alarming pattern will continue at least until the Becker and Pearce ‘recess’ terms expire in 2011.

“Meanwhile, Right to Work supporters will do everything they can to contain the damage.

“For example, attorneys for the National Right to Work Legal Defense Foundation, the Committee’s sister organization, have announced they will ask Mr. Becker to pledge to recuse himself from their clients’ cases because of his demonstrable, virulent anti-Right to Work bias.

“If Mr. Becker refuses to recuse himself, then his record of bias could in itself constitute grounds for judicial appeals of all decisions in which he joins.”