IAM International President Tom Buffenbarger joined fellow members of the AFL-CIO Executive Council in calling on President Obama to immediately nominate a slate of five members to fill all vacant seats on the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB).
The move comes on the heels of a recent U.S. Court of Appeals decision that ruled the president’s three January 2012 recess appointments unconstitutional. The ruling, still pending Supreme Court review, would leave the board with just one member, lacking a quorum.
“The decision by the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit in Noel Canning is unprecedented, and it is sweeping in its potential reach,” said the Executive Council in a formal statement issued at its annual winter meeting. “By the court’s logic, more than 300 recess appointments made by Presidents Reagan, Clinton, Obama and both Presidents Bush were invalid—including 141 appointments made by President George W. Bush alone.”
“If the labor board is prevented from functioning as the National Labor Relations Act intended, we must consider other means of protecting our rights, our members and our movement,” said Buffenbarger. “We cannot be indefinitely bound by a law that is neither applied nor enforced.”