Monday, December 28, 2009

Senate Rejects Andy's Lawyer for NLRB

It seems that the U.S. Senate does not think much of the prospect of Our Glorious Maximum Leader's in-house counsel to sit on the board of the NLRB, so much so that the Senate has returned Becker's nomination to the White House.

The Obama Administration will now either be forced to wait until the next session of the Senate to resubmit Becker's nomination, or they will have to use a controversial "recess appointment" in order to get Becker seated.

Stronger Together.


  1. FWIW, Becker was also general counsel for the AFL-CIO and by all accounts a decent guy. Not a Stern Loyalist.

    But King Andy's Midas-In-Reverse touch seems to be in full effect here, leaving labor's best choice to fill one of the NLRB's three vacancies (a majority of the board) easy prey for republicans looking to stymie Obama's nominees.

    The take-away for labor and Obama ought to be: if Stern is closely identified with an idea or person, they'll fail. So it's best to steer clear of the purple plague and its dear leader.

  2. As a faithful reader of your blog, I have to say that I find this type of gloating very problematic. Sure, Becker is counsel to SEIU, but he's also counsel to the AFL-CIO and is absolutely hated by employers. If you have any doubts about that, check out the link called "proposed a radical shifting of employee-employer relations" in the page you linked to on "Shop Floor" (i.e. the National Association of Manufacturers).

    I'm all for taking down Stern and Co. and supporting NUHW, but I fail to see how the Senate's failure to confirm Becker is in any way in the interest of workers, unless you think he'll be part of some further conspiracy to block NUHW from voting (a theory I don't subscribe to).

    And yes, I'm aware of "the enemy of my enemy is my friend" position you've taken with regards to using information from anti-union business groups...I just think that in this case it's misguided.

  3. I believe that anything, or anyone, remotely associated with Stern is poison. I cannot believe, for example, that Stern's more than twenty visits to the Whithouse--that Becker's name was not mentioned as a possible appointee to the NLRB. I also believe that the majority of NUHW and its supporters will agree that it's better for unions in general that Becker not be confirmed. Why take the chance?

  4. I certainly think it's problematic that we don't have a pro-labor NLRB appointee, but I have to say that in this situation, I really believe the fix is in on Becker and Stern re. preventing workers from being able to vote. SEIU's legal argument has been towards not ever letting these workers vote to leave SEIU and they repeat it so frequently that they must think there is some chance of it happening.

  5. Anonymous #3, this is anonymous #2:

    Can you give some facts to back up your claim that it will be better for unions in general if Becker is not confirmed? What are you basing that statement on? What is it that you think Becker will do that will harm unions and workers? Check out this link to see why employers don't want Becker on the Board:

    I don't see why these positions would be bad for unions or for NUHW. If anything, Becker's positions would aide unions.

    If you oppose him because you believe he would participate in a conspiracy to block NUHW elections, I would respond by saying the NLRB has a long and storied history of taking years to resolve union elections, and having Becker on the board would not make this bad situation any worse. And besides, the dam is thankfully starting to break, and once Kaiser goes NUHW, that'll be lights out for SEIU.

    Also: Do you have an alternative nomination you would propose? Since we're stuck with the NLRB, somebody has to sit on the board, and if you're against Becker, you should offer an alternative.

  6. Anonymous #2, this is anonymous #3

    I stand by my two cents worth of comments. I do not believe that Becker is the right man for the job--not that I know all that much about him. However, it is no secret that Stern has been at the Whitehouse on over twenty occasions and I simply do not believe that Becker's name was not thrown out there for consideration as an appointee to the NLRB.

    We all have a right to our opinions, I just think that your's is not good for the labor movement.

  7. As a strong supporter of NUHW, I am glad that Sal and crew are calling the shots, and not Sierra Spartan.

    Look, it's one thing (as anon #1 did) to point out that Stern has become so toxic that he's bringing good people (like Becker) down with him. It's another thing altogether to *celebrate* the demise of Becker, who *everyone* in the labor movement supported. When you celebrate his demise, you ally yourself with Sen. McCain and the US Chamber of Commerce.

    It's the same as when you *promoted* anti-Union websites b/c they happened to attack SEIU. And, to be clear, I'm not complaining that you cited info coming from an anti-Union site. Tasty has done that occassionaly. But Tasty acknopwledges up front that the site is anti-Union (so that nobody is confused). You, on the other hand, provide no such caveat, which leaves people to conclude you agree with these anti-Union folk. And, when challenged, you confirm that you view these people as "friends" b/c they share your (well-placed) animosity toward Stern & co.

    A classic case of "left covers for right" (or, as others have put it, "left in form, right in essence").

    In the beginning, you were a good site for breaking news on NUHW. And you're still a good source for info (though even that void is being increasingly filled by Tasty's place and by Red Revolt). But the analysis needs some serious work.

    You haven't jumped the shark yet, Sierra, but this latest post is not a good sign...

  8. Anon @ 0917 - you are welcome to browse here - or not browse here - at your own leisure. Keyser at RedRevolt and Tasty are both outstanding bloggers and sources in their own right, and very frequently of late they have been putting up some excellent material, of which I am not privy. They're on the ground at the locations where the action's happening, and I'm not.

    I am personally very gratified that they both have chosen to provide links to ¡AA! on their sites, and I am proud to provide links to their sites, as well as cross-posting when appropriate.

    Again, folks - I'm doing this on my own time, with very limited resources. If you don't like what I'm putting up, I apologize - but there is no way in hell I'm going to change my methods based on Anonymous gripes.

    Anon @ 09:17, if you think you can do it better, then get on the 'sphere and get to work. Otherwise...


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