Obama labor board flexes its muscles - Health Professionals & Allied Employees

Obama labor board flexes its muscles

From Politico, September 1, 2015

President Barack Obama may end up doing more for the struggling labor movement than any president in three decades.

Using a thin partisan majority on the National Labor Relations Board, Obama’s Democratic appointees have issued a string of rulings that favor unions — including six pro-labor decisions in just the past few days. On Thursday, the NLRB issued a momentous 3-2 ruling along party lines that may make it easier for McDonald’s to unionize, reversing a 34-year precedent. The board subsequently issued five additional decisions ruling for unions on less-momentous matters ranging from whether a worker may demand that a union rep be present during a drug test (yes) to whether an employer may exclude union reps from voluntary peer review committees (no). Two of these new rulings were made public Monday, concluding a flurry of NLRB votes from a board that observers say is more pro-union than any since the early 1980s.

Such decisions delight organized labor and infuriate the business lobby.”As a management-side lawyer for 40 years,” said Michael Lotito of the law firm Littler Mendelson, “I certainly have not seen such an activist board as this one on behalf of labor. Nothing close.”

Larry Cohen, who recently stepped down as president of the Communications Workers of America, doesn’t necessarily disagree. “The quality of this board is the best ever,” he said. “The NLRB appointments is one place where President Obama would get a perfect score.”

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