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Labor Tribune

The NLRB Is Going to Suck Until 2020

Trump's latest NLRB pick will give Republicans control of the Board until at least 2020

Kris LaGrange's picture
Jan 17, 2018

After eight years of a labor-friendly National Labor Relations Board, the balance of power on the board is set to change with the appointment of business lawyer John Ring.

On January 12th, Trump appointed Ring to the Board to replace Chairman Philip Miscimarra who announced he was stepping down in December. The appointment will flip the control of the board to a 3-2 Republican majority for the first time in nearly a decade. During the Obama administration, the NLRB took many pro-worker and pro-union positions, helping to make it easier to organize.

This appointment is the fourth one by Trump. In 2017 he appointed two other management side members as well as a management-side general counsel. His picks have drawn a lot of attention as some are not just management-side lawyers but are actually strike breakers. The board's general counsel helped break the PATCO strike. Trump was also considering Doug Seaton, a strikebreaker for the Associated Builders and Contractors (ABC) for a position on the NLRB.

Ring is a lawyer for the firm Morgan Lewis and practices in DC. He has argued a number of cases before the NLRB. With his appointment to the Board, a number of Obama era cases are expected to be reexamined. Some of these cases are Browning-Ferris also know as the Joint Employer Rule, cases on whether union members can use a company email address to discuss union activity, and cases involving what is obscene, vulgar or highly inappropriate conduct.

Now that Ring has been appointed he will have to be approved by the Senate, leaving the board deadlocked at 2-2 right now. If he is approved, Republicans will be in control of the NLRB until at least 2020.

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