In what has been called a “payback to labor unions,” President Obama used the Congressional recess to appoint Craig Becker, an attorney for labor groups such as the AFL-CIO and Service Employees International Union (SEIU), to the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB), which is charged with resolving disputes between unions and management.
The president also appointed labor attorney Mark Pearce to the NLRB.
Becker’s first nomination to the NLRB failed earlier this year when U.S. Senate Democratic leaders could not gather enough support for him. The nomination was strongly opposed by business and employer groups because of Becker’s support for the proposed Employee Free Choice Act, called “card check,” which would make it easier for unions to form in the workplace.
The U.S. Chamber of Commerce blasted the appointment, saying “the business community should be on red alert for radical changes that could significantly impair the ability of America’s job creators to compete.”
Labor leaders, who were strong supporters of President Obama in the 2008 election, continue to try to push a pro-labor agenda through Congress. Many have been unhappy that the president, so far, has not devoted more attention to the union agenda in Congress.