Machinists Union Urges Quick Confirmation of NLRB Nominees

In a letter to the U.S. Senate, the IAM is demanding the swift confirmation of President Obama’s full slate of nominees to the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB). Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-NV) and Sen. John McCain (R-AZ) struck a deal last week to confirm the president’s two replacement nominees – Nancy Schiffer, the general counsel at the AFL-CIO, and Kent Hirozawa, who currently serves as chief counsel to the NLRB chairman.

Schiffer and Hirozawa were approved by the Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions (HELP) Committee and will likely be up for a full Senate vote next week. 

“As you know, the NLRB is a non-partisan government agency charged with deciding whether unions or employers have violated the National Labor Relations Act (NLRA), the principal labor law covering private-sector workers’ rights,” wrote IAM International President Tom Buffenbarger. “An inoperable NLRB hurts working people. Without a functioning NLRB, workers wrongfully fired who should be protected by the NLRA will have no one to turn to for help and no course of redress.”

The nation’s top governing body for labor disputes has been in a state of limbo since January, when a conservative three-judge panel on the DC Circuit Court ruled the president’s recess appointments unconstitutional. Senate Republicans only backed away from their goal of fully disarming the NLRB after Reid threatened to lower the vote threshold for presidential nominees from 60 to 51.

If Congress fails to act, the NLRB will be left without a quorum of at least three members when current Chairman Mark Pearce’s term runs out August 27, 2013.

Click here to see the IAM’s full letter to the U.S. Senate.

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