NLRB v. Congress: What Do We Expect (Predict)?
Conflict between the National Labor Relations Board and Congressional Republicans (primarily the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee and its chair, Darrell Issa (R-Cal.)) continues to escalate. Animosity between the two began in 2010, with President Obama’s nomination of Craig Becker to the NLRB and his subsequent recess appointment of Becker to serve on the Board after Becker failed to garner sufficient Senate support to be confirmed the old fashioned way. Becker, formerly General Counsel to the Service Employees International Union, opined in his prior career that employers should have no rights to express their views about unionization during the course of a union organizing campaign. The Obama NLRB has consistently moved closer to Becker’s viewpoint. Examples include initiating litigation against Boeing for building a non-union facility in Charleston, South Carolina, which neither constituted a transfer of work nor caused the layoff of any Boeing union-represented employee in Seattle. The House Oversight Committee conducted hearings in Charleston, South Carolina, and forced NLRB General Counsel Lafe Solomon to testify at those hearings.
Continuing to fuel its regulatory revolution, the NLRB on June 21, 2011, proposed sweeping changes to union representation election rules and procedures (which could result in less than 10 days between the filing of a union petition and the date of an election), to reduce the amount of time employees have available to consider all of the facts and information necessary before making such a critical decision, and to limit employer rights regarding voter eligibility.
Issa requested documents from Solomon regarding the NLRB analysis and decision to issue a complaint against Boeing. Issa gave Solomon a deadline of Tuesday, July 26, 2011, at 5:00 p.m. In refusing to comply with Issa’s request, Solomon wrote that, “It remains my belief that premature disclosure of the Boeing case file would severely impact the parties’ due process rights and the Agency’s legal processes.” The question now is whether Issa will take the next step of issuing a subpoena to Solomon and, if so, will Solomon provide the requested documents.
Article courtesy of Worklaw® Network firm Lehr Middlebrooks & Vreeland, P.C.