In a year when the anger of the American people toward Washington politicians and their backroom deal-making has hit a fever pitch, President Obama surprised many with an overtly political and gratuitous reward to union bosses by not only heeding their demands to recess appoint both of their nominees to the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB), but also leaving another out altogether.
Obama’s actions smack of “payback” to labor bosses who invested half a billion dollars getting him elected in the first place. Furthermore, the appointments of Craig Becker and Mark Pearce can certainly be read as a slight to the former institution Obama served in, the U.S. Senate.
Craig Becker is considered a labor radical by Republicans and Democrats alike, and members of both parties voted down his nomination. In appointing Becker during the Congressional recess, Obama has chosen in one act to bypass the Congress, ignore the will of the American people, put forward a job-killing agenda and, lastly, reward his friends in Big Labor.
Becker’s nomination has been controversial from the start. Groups representing small businesses and the hardworking employees that keep them running, such as the Workforce Fairness Institute (WFI), have warned Congress about “The Becker Doctrine” of forced unionization, which would result in increased unemployment and decreased freedoms.
All 41 Republican members of the Senate urged Obama not to appoint Becker during the Easter recess, saying in a letter that, “We oppose Mr. Becker’s recess appointment because of his extensive, highly controversial writings, and his entire legal and scholarly career, all of which indicate that he could not be viewed as impartial, unbiased or objective in deciding cases before this quasi-judicial agency. Instead, his writings clearly indicate that he would use his position on the NLRB to institute far-reaching changes in labor law far exceeding the Board’s authority and bypassing the role of Congress. His rejection of traditional notions of democracy in union elections and of an employer’s status as a party to labor representation proceedings has garnered bi-partisan opposition to his nomination.”
Given his past writings and employment by the American Federation of Labor and Congress of Industrial Organizations (AFL-CIO) and Service Employees International Union (SEIU), Becker could potentially implement pieces of the job-killing Employee ‘Forced’ Choice Act (EFCA) through “administrative action.”