Republicans Deep-Six the NLRB

Doing filibustering Senate Republicans one better, the one Republican member on the (currently) three-member National Labor Relations Board appears to have decided to bring the board to a screeching halt by refusing to vote and thus denying it a quorum.

In a letter made public yesterday, Republican Brian Hayes wrote fellow GOP-er John Kline, chairman of the House Education and Workforce Committee, that he might well not participate in the Board’s scheduled November 30 vote on changing the rules for union certification elections. The proposed rule change essentially would shorten the period between the time that workers file for a union-representation election and the election itself from the current time period, which is as long as management can delay a vote (sometimes, for years) to roughly three or four weeks.

In his letter, Kline complained that he was not privy to some of the deliberations of the board (that is, of the two Democratic members) and thus might fail to show up for the scheduled vote. But in a long and devastating letter that board chairman Mark Pearce sent to Hayes yesterday, Pearce documented more than a dozen instances in which he and the board’s staff invited Hayes and his own staff to participate in all aspects of the rule-development process—hearings, data collection, even just trying to get Hayes to tell him which portions of the proposed rule he supported and which he opposed, and negotiating a compromise based on that discussion – only to have his entreaties either rejected or ignored by Hayes and his staff. In essence, Pearce told Hayes, you moved heaven and earth to ensure your exclusion from the process.

Last year, the Supreme Court ruled that the five-member NLRB lacked a quorum and could not make any decisions based on a vote of just two members. Currently, the board has only three members, since Republican members of Congress, led by South Carolina Senator Lindsay Graham, have vowed to block any further Obama appointments and to stay in session over breaks to block any recess appointments. Board member Craig Becker’s term expires at the end of the year, reducing membership down to a powerless two. By refusing to participate in the November 30 session, Hayes would effectively move up by a month the Board’s quickly approaching period of impotence and block a rule change that unions support, and that fairness itself demands.


Mr. Meyerson,

I appreciate this posting, and personally am outraged by this behavior. But the little conservative in my head thinks he has a handy objection, to wit: Isn't this basically equivalent to what the state legislators in Wisconsin did? That is, they refused to show up so the body they served could not get a quorum and vote in a way they found objectionable. Your thoughts would be appreciated.

Its hard to cry any tears over this, given the lengths that Democrats have shown they will go to obfuscate the will of the people, given their actions in Wisconsin. I also have no problem with Lindsey Graham punting this until after the election, as Obama himself has shown with the XL pipeline decision. The NLRB has shown a dangerous slant in the last three years, with the exclamation point being the deliberate attacks of Boeing in South Carolina. I have no faith in the balance of this board in any decision, and until this administration leaves neither should anyone else.

From what I have read, the vote was already rigged no matter what the Republican did. The only way to prevent yet another grotesquely overt pro-union rule was to not show up. The NLRB has outlived its usefulness, and like so many other Federal bureaucracies needs to be eliminated. Personally, I will be very glad if he does not show up; its long past time we cut off unions from government support and tax-payer funding.

I love it. I am glad the Republicans have turned the tables on the Democrats. It was all high praise when the Dems left in Wisconsin. Also, this NLRB is a joke. The filing of the complaint against Boeing was proof that this Board is corrupt, doing the work of the liberal left and not following the law at all. Becker's appointment was a crime with his pro-labor ties and background. This is why the economy can;t get back on track, too much government interference and too much regulation. We are losing jobs every day in this country because of how much its costs to produce and manufacture good and products. The problem...cost of regulations and labor unions.

Yowser, dem republicant boyz, daz be smart; dayz be usen dat democrap tinking in dare favor. Az I said; daz be smart.

I think it's interesting that we have a Republican who decided not to participate in a vote he thought was wrong, or led the NLRB to overstep its' legal boundaries (gee, sounds a LOT like what the Dem state representatives in Wisconsin did by fleeing the state!) by using tactics similar to what Democrats have done - and he gets vilified for it. Democrats are consistently "do as I say, and not as I do" people - which really means two things: the days that Republicans will simply roll over for liberals, taking the "high road" on principle, are over. Congress is generally a pigsty, and now Republicans are more willing to get down into the muck with Democrats if that's what it takes. The second thing is this: the American PEOPLE are getting more and more tired of Democrats and their political antics, shear effrontery when it comes to the rule of law, and dirty back room tactics. If you thought November 2010 was bad for you, what's coming will be even worse.

The analogy that some comments make to the Wisconsin Democrats boycotting of deliberations may provide a gratifying sense of "we'll give you some of your own medicine," however it is not the same. Doing so would add to the continuing ossification of the machinery of government and left-center-right should all be opposed to Brian Hayes' threat to boycott Board proceedings. Hayes is an appointed member of the NLRB who took an oath to perform his duties within the framework of that position. He is not a political actor as with the Wisconsin legislators. While one can argue that they too avoided their duties- the difference is that they acted in the context of rough and tumble politics. Hayes can vote against the proposed changes and voice his dissent. And should do so. But to boycott the proceeding is an abdication of his responsibilities to function as a Board member. Unless I am mistaken, this would be unprecedented. Ultimately if he felt so strongly about this issue, he could resign. That would reflect true integrity Mr. Hayes.

Some repubs - not all - dont know the meaning of integrity.

And from what ai've seen they are proud of what they do. the same pride seen in their religious bible belt base that gave us slavery, the KKK and segregation.

Repubs are our newest party - neo talibans

REpublicans - sold out to the super rich who gave us the 2nd great depression under Bush.

They are never satified. They remind me of the old nursery rhyme about "the king was in his counting house counting all his money........................"

A problem solved in France when the revolution came.. So eloquently described by Diderot ...The people will be free when the last king is strangled with the guts of the last priest.

for of course the church played footsie with the riches of the rich, the kings,

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