Business groups are concerned about President Obama’s renomination of a longtime labor union attorney to serve on the National Labor Relations Board – the federal agency that administers the nation’s labor law system.
While unions continue to try pushing a pro-labor agenda through Congress, the nomination of Craig Becker--attorney for labor groups such as the AFL-CIO and Service Employees International Union (SEIU)–is seen as unions’ backup plan if their legislative efforts stall.
High on the labor agenda is the so-called Employee Free Choice Act, also know as “card-check,” which would make it much easier for unions to form in workplaces across the country. Becker is a strong advocate for the proposal.
According to The Wall Street Journal, Becker has said “‘Employees' only choice should be over which set of union officials get ‘exclusive’ power to negotiate their wages, benefits, and work rules.”
Ironically, many union members in Massachusetts supported the recent election of Republican Scott Brown to the U.S. Senate–which could make final passage of pro-union legislation more difficult.
However, Becker believes that the NLRB can change labor laws in unions’ favor without the consent of Congress. He served on President Obama’s transition team and was responsible for pro-union executive orders, at the same time he was still on the payroll for SEIU and lobbying for the union, along with the AFL-CIO.
Becker had first been nominated by the president last fall, but it failed in the Senate. Obama renominated Becker in January. The U.S. Chamber, NAM and other organizations are fighting Becker’s NLRB candidacy.