Obama Appoints Two Pro-Union NLRB Nominees

The National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) gained two labor-friendly members this week as President Obama exercised his power to make appointments while the Senate is in recess. Most of the nominees were approved by Senate committees months ago, but were being held up by Republican opposition.

Labor lawyers Craig Becker and Mark Pearce will join the current two-member board, which has been operating understaffed since 2008. Becker has worked as an associate general counsel for the Service Employees International Union (SEIU) and staff counsel for the AFL-CIO. Pearce is a partner with Creighton, Pearce, Johnsen & Giroux, a New York law firm that represents unions and workers in discrimination cases.

The president made a total of 15 recess appointments. He said in his announcement that the Senate has “the responsibility to approve or disapprove of my nominees. But if, in the interest of scoring political points, Republicans in the Senate refuse to exercise that responsibility, I must act in the interest of the American people and exercise my authority to fill these positions on an interim basis.”

President Obama also noted that President Bush made 15 recess appointments by this time in his presidency, and at this time in 2002, Bush had only 5 nominees pending on the floor. President Obama currently has 77.