On July 24, 2013, the Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions Committee held an executive session to discuss and vote on the President’s recent nominations of Democrats Kent Yoshiho Hirozawa and NancyJeanSchiffer to be Members of the National Labor Relations Board. Hirozawa is currently Chief Counsel to NLRB Chairman Pearce. Schiffer was most recently Associate General Counsel of the AFL-CIO.
Ranking Member Alexander (R-TN) voiced objections to both nominees, opining that he doubted their impartiality. He also noted that some outstanding written questions to the two nominees remained to be answered. On motion of Committee Chairman Harkin (D-Iowa) to report the two nominations favorably out of committee, both nominations were approved by a vote of 13 to 9.
Harkin also agreed that the record should remain open for the consideration of answers to the outstanding questions, and stated that he expected a vote on the nominations by the full Senate during the week of July 29.
On April 20, 2011, in a press release, the NLRB’s Acting General Counsel Lafe Solomon announced that the General Counsel had issued an unfair labor practice complaint against the Boeing Company alleging that it violated the National Labor Relations Act “by deciding to transfer a second production line to a non-union facility inSouth Carolinafor discriminatory reasons.”
In 2007 Boeing announced that it planned to assemble seven 787 Dreamliner airplanes per month at its Puget Sound facility inWashingtonstate. That facility has employees represented by the International Association of Machinists. Later, Boeing announced that it would create a second production line to assemble an additional three planes per month, and in October 2009, specified that the second line would be placed at its facility inSouth Carolinathat is non-union. According to Solomon, in repeated statements to employees and the media, company executives cited the unionized employees’ past strike activity and the possibility of strikes occurring sometime in the future as the overriding factors in deciding to locate the second line in the non-union facility. After completing its investigation,Solomon, in his press release, stated:
“A worker’s right to strike is a fundamental right guaranteed by the National Labor Relations Act,”Mr.Solomonsaid. “We also recognize the rights of employers to make business decisions based on their economic interests, but they must do so within the law. I have worked with the parties to encourage settlement in the hope of avoiding costly litigation, and my door remains open to that possibility.” Continue reading →