IAM Sends Letter to Congress – Confirm the NLRB Nominations

IAM has sent a letter to Congress urging them to confirm the appointments to the NLRB, “On behalf of the International Association of Machinists and Aerospace Workers, we respectfully urge you to sign on to the Dear Colleague letter being circulated by Congresswoman Linda T. Sanchez (D-CA) and Congressman Joe Courtney (D-CT) to Senator Mitch McConnell seeking the swift consideration of the presidential appointments to the National Labor Relations Board (“NLRB”).  At present, two of the five seats on the Board are vacant and the term of one of the three current Board members, Chairman Mark Pearce, will expire in August 2013. Without action by the Senate, the Board will soon be left without the quorum of at least three members that is required in order for the Board to function.”

In an op-ed published in The Hill, AFL-CIO President Richard Trumka urged the Senate to confirm the president’s Board nominations quickly. The nominees include three current members of the Board and two nominees who have not served previously on the Board but who have been drawn from the ranks of attorneys who represent management in disputes with employees. Without action by the Senate, the Board will soon be left without the quorum of at least three members, which is required in order for the Board to function.  

“Responsibility for providing needed stability and the functioning NLRB that working people need and deserve is now up to the Senate,” wrote Trumka. “Members should act quickly and confirm the president’s full slate of nominees. The strength of our economy depends on it.”

Obama released a statement that reinforced his support of a fully-functioning NLRB: “By enforcing workplace protections, upholding the rights of workers and providing a stable workplace environment for businesses, the NLRB plays a vital role in our efforts to grow the economy and strengthen the middle class. I urge the Senate to confirm them swiftly so that this bipartisan board can continue its important work on behalf of the American people.”

But the Republican assault on the NLRB doesn’t stop there. The dubiously-titled “Preventing Greater Uncertainty in Labor-Management Relations Act” (H.R. 1120), which passed the House along party lines in April, would deprive both labor and management of the ability to seek adjudication when their labor rights have allegedly been violated.

Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-SC), a key leader of the charge, said, “I will continue to block all nominations to the NLRB. … The NLRB as inoperable could be considered progress.” In March, Sen. Lamar Alexander (R-TN) and 17 co-sponsors introduced a budget amendment that would defund decisions and regulations made by the Board.

Click here to read the full letter from IAM President Tom Buffenbarger.