President Barack Obama has announced his intention to nominate two new members of the National Labor Relations Board. Both nominees are Democrats, and both are attorneys who currently represent labor unions.
Nominee Craig Becker currently serves as Associate General Counsel to both the Service Employees International Union and the AFL-CIO. Nominee Mark Pearce has been a labor lawyer for his entire career and is one of the founding partners of Creighton, Pearce, Johnsen & Giroux in Buffalo, New York, where he practices "union side" labor and employment law.
Currently there are only two Board Members - Wilma Liebman, the Board chair and a Democrat, and Bush recess-appointee Peter Schaumber, a Republican. While not required by law, past Administrations have followed the practice that no more than three of the five members are from the same political party, so the next Obama appointment should not be a Democrat.  With Senate confirmation of both Becker and Pearce a forgone conclusion, it is likely that the NLRB will be operating with three pro-labor Democrats and one Republican for the foreseeable future. Until the fifth seat is filled, every three-member panel assigned to adjudicate cases would be controlled by the Democrat majority. Stand by for CHANGE and the reversal of many of the more employer-friendly decisions of the NLRB of the Bush-Battista era.

--BOB LEMERT, Atlanta Office


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