Unions Cheer Obama Labor Board Appointments

Posted on January 8, 2012 by

Defying a Senate Republican scheme to disable the National Labor Relations Board, President Obama has re-staffed the agency with three “recess” appointments.

The board can now continue its modest reform agenda which includes restraining employers from endlessly delaying certification elections and improving union organizer access to workers.

While this will not alone reverse the steady decline in union density, it offers relief and encouragement to labor activists.

Give Obama credit.

You could argue that the move was just an election year maneuver to motivate union leaders.

Nevertheless, it pushes hard against NLRB attacks from the right which allege that transparency rules harm employers and that the board overstepped when it charged Boeing with moving work to punish its union.

Outraged republicans insist that the one-year appointments – which bypass confirmation – violate separation of powers doctrine because the senate was technically in session and not in recess.

That case – which includes the appointment of Richard Cordray to run the new Consumer Financial Protection Bureau – is likely to percolate slowly through the federal courts and probably won’t be resolved before the 2012 election.

Comments (3)


  1. Gavin says:

    Great news. I am tired of the conservative approach of trying to find ways at eliminating worker rights. Perhaps the NRLB can actually now get some real work done. Hope the appointment holds….

  2. Bill Thomas says:


    Nice to see the President making some gutsy moves! Live Gavin, I hope the appointments stand up to any legal challenges. The idea that the Senate is in session when no Senators are there and no one is doing any of the people’s business is absurd in the extreme. But then again, so is much of the Republican “no, no, a thousand times no” do nothing agenda.

    Go get ‘em, Mr. President. Show us how to get stuff done in spite of GOP foot-dragging, and you will give voters even more reasons to re-elect you.

    Four more years.

  3. Jann Whetstone says:

    This is fabulous news and ditto on “I hope the appointments stick”! This is the President Obama I have been longer for, not the one that’s trying to make both sides feel at ease. If this is just an election maneuver please keep them coming, as long as they’re advancing working people and the 99%! Obama-Biden 2012!!!!!!

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