The Boomerang Effect: Union Bosses Fear 'Collapse' of Obama's NLRB & Supreme Court Ruling

Union bosses are worried, and rightly so. Very soon, the club that union bosses have been using to beat employers over the head with to change the labor relations landscape in America may get taken away from them and they are not happy. The problem is, union bosses wrote the playbook and their strategy is now coming back to haunt them–in spades.


NLRB picketing

In 2007, when vacancies began to occur at the National Labor Relations Board, union allies in the U.S. Senate blocked confirmation of President Bush’s nominees, knowing that a Democrat president would likely win the 2008 election who would then stack the NLRB with pro-union appointees.

On the day of his 2009 inauguration, Barack Obama appointed Teamster attorney and long-time NLRB member Wilma Liebman to the top spot of the NLRB.

Shortly thereafter, Obama nominated SEIU and AFL-CIO counsel Craig Becker. Republicans, deploying the Democrats’ strategy of not giving in to union bosses’ prized nominee, turned the tables on union bosses by blocking Obama’s nominees.

Meanwhile, as legislation in Congress that would effectively eliminate secret ballot elections by use of card check failed, using the National Labor Relations Board to change the nation’s labor laws by regulatory fiat became union bosses’ principle weapon to alter the downward trajectory of private-sector union membership.

Frustrated by their inability to use the agency as they intended, union bosses convinced Obama to controversially unilaterally declare the Senate in recess and appoint his chosen members to the NLRB.


Now, with the Supreme Court deciding last week to weigh in on Obama’s appointments to the NLRB, union bosses are preparing themselves for a possibility that the NLRB may case stop functioning entirely after August 27th–when union attorney and current NLRB Chairman Mark Pearce’s term expires.

Since, the Supreme Court ruled–thanks to union and Democrat shenanigans in 2007-08–that the NLRB must have at least three sitting members in order to function, with Pearce’s departure, the NLRB will only have two members–a catastrophe to union bosses.

According to an article in the liberal In These Times, Communications Workers of America’s Larry Cohen believes that the Court will rule against Obama’s recess appointments.

Cohen predicts that the court will rule against Obama in its decision, expected next year. “Given the history of this [Supreme] Court, we have to assume the worst,” he says.


“There is a window right now for the Senate to make rule changes that are needed,” Cohen insists. If the body does not act by August 27, when the term of office of NLRB chair Mark Gaston Pearce expires, Cohen says, “the NLRB will collapse.”


This is why the CWA, along with other leftist groups, have been pushing Harry Reid and his Democratic Senate cohorts to change the Senate’s rules on filibusters.

As long as Senate Republicans don’t waffle and cave in (which, unfortunately, is not out of the question) to left-wing pressure, on August 28th, union bosses will lose their principle weapon in their war on America’s union-free workplace.

  • Related: Union Bosses Should Imagine A World Without Obama’s NLRB
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