Friday, July 14, 2017

Deconstructing America - Part Whatever

It might not get as much press coverage as other Donald Trump administration calamities, but the U.S. president is set to appoint a known union buster to the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB), push the body to a Republican majority and reverse Obama-era protections that rankle Big Business.

On July 13, the Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions (HELP) Committee held hearings on Trump’s two NLRB selections and his deputy labor secretary pick. All three of these men are expected to be confirmed.

  In These Times
Who would have expected anything less?
William Emanuel, one of Trump’s NLRB appointees, is a management-side attorney and a member of the conservative Federalist Society. He is also a shareholder of Littler Mendelson, an infamous union busting firm that was most recently brought in by Long Island beer distributor Clare Rose to negotiate a contract full of pay cuts.

After being selected, Emanuel disclosed 49 former clients and declared he would recuse himself for up to a year if any of the companies found themselves in front of the NLRB.
A whole year, huh?
The list included multiple businesses that have clashed with the labor board, including JPMorgan Chase Bank, MasTec Inc, Nissan and Uber.


In 2016, Emanuel authored an amicus brief that defended class-action waivers in employment contracts.


“You have spent your career at one of the country’s most ruthless, union-busting law firms in the country,” [Senator Elizabeth Warren] said. “How can Americans trust you will protect workers’ rights when you’ve spent 40 years fighting against them?”

In response, Emanuel claimed that he would be objective whenever making decisions for the agency.
I'm glad that got cleared up.
[Trump's Marvin] Kaplan pick excites business executives and their advocates, who envisioned him helping overturn Obama-era labor regulations.


Kaplan served as counsel for Republicans on the House Committee on Education and the Workforce. The New York Times reports, “The committee held hearings during his tenure scrutinizing prominent NLRB actions in which the witnesses skewed toward business representatives and other skeptics.” Kaplan also helped develop the The Workforce Democracy and Fairness Act, legislation that would kill a labor board rule that shortened the amount of time between when the board authorizes a workplace unionization vote and when the vote actually takes place.


Trump’s Labor Department nominee is Patrick Pizzella, a Federal Labor Relations Authority Member who was grilled by Minnesota Senator Al Franken on his ties to the infamous lobbyist Jack Abramoff. Pizzella worked with Abramoff during the 1990s to exempt the Northern Mariana Islands from federal labor regulations.


[Trump's] NLRB could potentially reverse rulings that made it easier for small groups of workers to unionize, established grad students as employees, put charter school employees under NLRB jurisdiction, and held parent companies jointly liable [...] with franchise operators who break labor laws.


“Unions and their allies should be convening research teams to plot out a campaign of regulatory and judicial activism. That work should begin now.”
...but hey, do what you will anyway.

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