Tuesday, March 3, 2009

Wilma Liebman Designated NLRB Chairman

President Obama has appointed Wilma B. Liebman to chair the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB), the agency that enforces federal labor law. Chairman Liebman has served on the Board since November 14, 1997. First appointed by President Clinton, she is now serving her third term, which will expire on August 27, 2011.

Chairman Liebman is considered one of its most union-friendly members, and was often a strongly dissenting voice on the Board during the eight years of the Bush administration. Her appointment was not unexpected, and confirms predictions that the NLRB would shift to the left during the Obama administration.

In a statement, Chairman Liebman said:

I am honored by President Obama's designation to serve as Chairman, and I look forward to continuing my service on the Board with my colleague, Peter Schaumber, and ultimately with a full complement of Board Members.

The Board's work matters, just as it did when the National Labor Relations Act was passed in 1935. Democracy in the workplace is still basic to a democratic society, and collective bargaining is still basic to a fair economy. The statute we administer is the foundation of America's commitment to human rights recognized around the world.

Before joining the Board, Chairman Liebman served from 1994 to 1997 at the Federal Mediation and Conciliation Service, first as Special Assistant to the Director and then as Deputy Director. She began her legal career as an NLRB staff attorney in 1974, then served on the legal staff of two labor unions: the International Brotherhood of Teamsters (1980-1989) and the International Union of Bricklayers and Allied Craftsmen (1990-1993).

A native of Philadelphia, Chairman Liebman holds a B.A. from Barnard College and a J.D. from the George Washington University Law Center.

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