Wyatt Employment Law Report

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Union Official Calls on President Obama to Fix the Recess Appointment Problems at the NLRB

By Edwin S. Hopson

In late February, the AFL-CIO Executive Council called on Senate Democrats to empower the National Labor Relations Board or else.  “Now we demand that the president name all five people to fill those NLRB positions and that the Senate vote promptly,” according to Communications Workers of America union (CWA) President Larry Cohen, a member of the council in a press release found on the CWA website.  Cohen went on to say:  “We expect the Democrats to use every option, including the talking filibuster or rules changes to prevent the Republicans from blocking this. If they don’t, they can expect us to go after them like we never have before — in the nation’s capital and in their districts — wherever they go.”

According to the CWA, “as it stands, the NLRB is toothless,” referring to the US Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit decision in Noel Canning v. NLRB issued in January 2013, which invalidated President Obama’s three recess appointments to the NLRB.  Again, according to the CWA, “[i]n knocking down three of the board’s five members, the Noel Canning ruling completely vaporized the NLRB’s ability to enforce US labor law.”