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Republican Senator objects to pro-union NLRB nominee


December 2009, Allentown/Bethlehem/Easton edition of The Union News

Republican Senator objects to pro-union NLRB nominee


REGION, November 5th- On July 9th the Obama Administration announced that it had sent to the United States Senate the nominiations of three individuals to serve as members of the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) in Washington, DC, but one of them has been stalled because Republican Arizona Senator John McCain requested a hearing be conducted.

If they were confirmed by the Senate, the NLRB would have a full complement of five members for the first time since December 7th, 2007. The sitting members are Chariman Wilma Liebman and member Peter Schaumber.

In April President Barack Obama announced his intention to nominate labor law attorney’s Craig Becker and Mark Gaston Pearce for the two vacant Democratic seats on the NLRB. The intent to nominate Brian Hayes to fill the vacant Republican seat was announced shortly before the nominations were sent to the Senate. By tradition, three of the five NLRB seats are filled by individuals of the same political party of the President in office.

Chairman Liebman’s term expires on August 27th, 2011 and Mr. Schaumber’s term ends on August 27th, 2010.

On October 20th, 2009, Senator McCain sent a letter to Senator Tom Harkin, Chairman of the Senate Committee on Health, Education, Labor and Pensions, stating Mr. Becker’s written views was too pro-union and requested that a hearing be conducted before the full committee consider his nomination to the NLRB.

“I have concerns regarding Mr. Becker’s written views, which indicate that he would prevent employers from having a role in union representation elections in their workplaces by doing away with requiring fair, secret ballot union elections when requested by an employer and I would like the opportunity to question Mr. Becker about these positions in person and in public,” stated Mr. McCain in the letter which was obtained by the newspaper.

Mr. Becker has served as the Associate General Counsel of the Service Employees International Union (SEIU), which represents workers employed in state, county and municipal governments, and the American Federation of Labor and the Congress of Industrial Organizations (AFL-CIO) labor federation. If confirmed his term would end on December 16th, 2014.

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