President Obama placed Pearce and Becker on the NLRB through recess appointments March 27 despite furious opposition from business interests and Senate Republicans. The Washington Post reports today that the Senate vote to confirm only Pearce and Hayes could mean that Becker may have to step down in late 2011 when the recess appointment ends.
Associated Industries of Massachusetts opposed the Becker and Pearce nominations because of concerns that they might seek to implement the most troublesome sections of the proposed Employee Free Choice Act (EFCA) in an administrative manner. EFCA would deprive workers of the right to a secret ballot in union elections and replace it with a "card-check" system under which a union would gain bargaining authority by submitting card signed by more than 50 percent of workers.
The Senate vote came less than a week after the United States Supreme Court rules that the NLRB acted without statutory authority when it issued approximately 600 decisions during the period when vacancies left the Board with only two members. Please see yesterday's blog post by Martha Zackin Esq., for a discussion of the court decision.