President Obama must act immediately to restore the ability of the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) to protect the rights of American workers by giving recess appointments to two nominees who are being blocked by Blanche Lincoln and other Senate Republican obstructionists, AFL-CIO President Richard Trumka said today.
Writing on Huffington Post, Trumka put it this way:
The NLRB’s job is to protect workers’ rights—but for more than two years it has been functioning with only two members instead of the five it should have. Working people need an NLRB that can enforce the National Labor Relations Act—not one hobbled by vacancies.
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Saying “enough is enough,” Trumka is urging working people to take action now and call the White House switchboard at 202-456-1111or 202-456-1414 and demand that President Obama use his executive power to appoint Craig Becker and Mark Pearce to the NLRB during the Presidents Day recess.
In a deal between the White House and the Senate minority, the Senate yesterday confirmed 27 non-controversial Obama appointees. But the NLRB nominees—Becker and Pearce—both highly qualified, well-respected labor lawyers who were nominated in July, were left out of the deal. The Republicans filibustered the Becker nomination, although he received a majority vote. The White House apparently has agreed not to make Presidents Day recess appointments—a process that allows the president to temporarily appoint his own nominee while Congress is out of session.
Trumka calls that decision:
A big win for the Republicans. A big win for corporations that want to file down the teeth of the NLRB. A big loss for working people.
He adds that progressives must act quickly to build support for a fully functional NLRB.
Progressives should take every opportunity to let their congressional representatives and the White House know that protection of workers’ rights is one of the first and most important changes working people expected to see when they voted in 2008. It’s been 13 months since the inauguration—it’s time.