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Senate rejects Obama’s NLRB nominee (Click Here)


WASHINGTON (Legal Newsline)-The U.S. Senate has rejected one of President Barack Obama’s nominees to the National Labor Relations Board.

The president had nominated Craig Becker, counsel for the Service Employees International Union, to the powerful board. His nomination was rejected last week by the Senate.

The Senate Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions Committee confirmed Becker’s nomination without holding a hearing. Sen. John McCain, R-Ariz., thwarted Becker’s nomination following the committee’s action.

Industry groups—including the National Association of Manufacturers, the National Retail Federation, and Associated Builders and Contractors—had voiced concern over Becker, a former law school professor.

“Mr. Becker has written prolifically about the National Labor Relations Act (NLRA), the law he would be charged with interpreting and enforcing should he be confirmed,” the letter said. “Many of the positions taken in his writings are well outside the mainstream and would disrupt years of established precedent and the delicate balance in current labor law.”

The Wall Street Journal had editorialized against Becker’s nomination, noting ties between the Service Employees International Union, where he has been associate general counsel and the social activist group ACORN.

“President Obama nominated Mr. Becker in April to the five-member NLRB, which has the critical job of supervising union elections, investigating labor practices, and interpreting the National Labor Relations Act. In a 1993 Minnesota Law Review article, written when he was a UCLA professor, Mr. Becker argued for rewriting current union-election rules in favor of labor. And he suggested the NLRB could do this by regulatory fiat, without a vote of Congress,” the newspaper wrote.

Posted by Admin on 12/29 at 10:35 AM

U.S. Chamber Challenges Pro-Union Oregon Law Limiting Employers’ Free Speech Rights (Click Here)

December 22, 2009
Legislation Unconstitutionally Curtails Employers’ Rights to Counter Union Disinformation
WASHINGTON, D.C.—Today, the U.S. Chamber of Commerce and Associated Oregon Industries filed a lawsuit arguing that a new Oregon law unconstitutionally eliminates an employer’s right to conduct mandatory meetings with employees to rebut union rhetoric and provide information about the drawbacks of a unionized workplace. The law, known as SB 519, is scheduled to become effective January 1, 2010. The case is Associated Oregon Industries and Chamber of Commerce of the United States v. Brad Avakian and Laborers’ International Union of North America, Local No. 296.
“Organized labor hasn’t been able to muster the votes or the public support to pass Card Check, so they’ve moved on to ‘Plan B’ to muzzle employers during union organizing drives,” said Steven Law, chief legal officer and general counsel for the U.S. Chamber. “Just like Card Check, this law flies in the face of our country’s democratic values.”

In its lawsuit, the Chamber argues that federal law preempts the Oregon law, which runs counter to 50 years of federal protection for employers’ rights to hold mandatory meetings to rebut labor leaders’ rhetoric about unionizing. The Chamber’s lawsuit also alleges that SB 519 violates employers’ speech rights guaranteed by the First Amendment. Oregon is the first state in the nation to pass such a law, which is based on model legislation drafted by the AFL-CIO in an effort to launch a state-by-state attack on federally protected employer speech. While Oregon may be the only state that has signed legislation, the AFL-CIO has introduced similar laws in numerous other states.
“This legislation is organized labor’s first salvo in an apparent state-by-state assault on federally protected employer speech,” said Robin Conrad, executive vice president of the National Chamber Litigation Center, the Chamber’s public policy law firm. “This law tramples employers’ speech rights and gives organized labor an unprecedented advantage in unionizing campaigns.”
NCLC is the public policy law firm of the U.S. Chamber of Commerce that advocates fair treatment of business in the courts and before regulatory agencies.
The U.S. Chamber is the world’s largest business federation representing more than 3 million businesses and organizations of every size, sector, and region.


Posted by Admin on 12/22 at 02:43 PM