Katie Gage

When a president nominates someone to a position in a Federal agency, that person goes before the United States Senate, which undertakes its Constitutional responsibility of “advice and consent” under Article II Section II. This means the Senate must be consulted on and approve appointments made by President Barack Obama to public positions, which include Cabinet secretaries, Federal judges and ambassadors.

This also applies to those individuals who desire to be members of the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB). This regulatory agency is charged with administering to the National Labor Relations Act (NLRA), which is the law that governs relations between unions, and employees and employers in the private sector.

When President Obama originally nominated Craig Becker to serve on the NLRB, he could not gain the necessary and sufficient amount of bipartisan votes needed in the Senate to secure confirmation. This was due to the fact that Becker was known as a labor radical who believed in forced unionization and was much too controversial to serve as an unbiased arbiter.

And in spite of both Republicans and Democrats in the U.S. Senate voting to reject Becker, the President saw fit to offer him a recess appointment. Naturally, his actions were widely hailed by union bosses who bankrolled Obama’s presidential campaign, and strongly denounced by small businesses that had great concern about the job-killing measures Becker endorsed.

The Constitution provides for recess appointments to allow a president to act quickly in emergencies and appoint temporary leaders while Congress is in recess. Using a recess appointment to give a top contributor’s lawyer a job is questionable at best.

Since that time, the NLRB has taken actions against job creators that can only be viewed as extreme, and in the process confirming all the fears employers had concerning Becker’s radical agenda.

The regulatory agency has threatened to sue states that passed amendments to their constitutions supporting the secret ballot, it is considering a case that would allow a multiplicity of different bargaining units to exist under one employer’s roof, it would essentially eliminate solicitations of any kind at a place of work unless union organizers are provided access, it has requested information concerning electronic voting systems which would lead to coercion and intimidation, and it is now open to reducing the window between the filing of petition and election in organizing drives.


Katie Gage

Katie Gage is the executive director of the Workforce Fairness institute.