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Reports say President to Make Becker Recess Appointment

Posted by Sandy Reynolds on Mar 24, 2010 11:51:00 AM

President Barack Obama plans to use a recess appointment to place union lawyer Craig Becker on the National Labor Relations Board, Iowa Senator Tom Harkin told Congressional Quarterly yesterday.

"It's going to happen," Harkin told CQ. The Iowa Democrat is chairman of the Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions Committee.

Congress begins a two-week recess on Friday. Senate Republicans blocked a vote on Becker's nomination last month in one of the first votes taken by newly elected Massachusetts Senator Scott Brown.

AIM and other business groups have opposed the nomination because of concerns that Becker, associate general counsel of the Service Employees International Union, might seek to impose administratively the most anti-employer sections of the stalled Employee Free Choice Act. EFCA would deprive workers of the right to a secret ballot in union elections.

Economist Anne Layne Ferrar has estimated that EFCA would cost 600,000 American jobs per year.

"The appointment will unquestionably change the balance of the NLRB away from employers," said AIM's Michael Rudman (mrudman@aimnet.org), who has spent 30 years working in the area of labor relations and union negotiations.

"The message I stress when teaching labor relations seminars or working with AIM member employers is that good management is the best defense against unionization. The new landscape in Washington DC underscores that approach." 

The five-member NLRB has operated with only two members since January 2008.

Topics: Employers, Associated Industries of Massachusetts, AIM, Employment Law, Organized Labor, Benefits, Employee Free Choice Act

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