Photo By: 

Trump's NLRB pick is a union buster

Doug Seaton is an extremist leader in the Associated Builders and Contractors

Kris LaGrange's picture
May 03, 2017

The National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) was established to protect workers when their employers violate labor law.  In fact the preamble to the law that created the NLRB says that it is the policy of the United States to encourage collective bargaining.  With a stated goal of defending unions, Trump’s possible nomination of a union-busting lawyer for the board is extremely surprising to many on both sides of the union debate.

Doug Seaton is a Minneapolis lawyer who focuses on union busting against some of the biggest unions in the country. Currently he is working on a seventh campaign to try and decertify the Service Employees International (SEIU) from representing 27,000 home health care aides in Minnesota.  He also serves as the Chapter counsel for the Associated Builders and Contractors (ABC) Minnesota branch.  With over 30 years of experience working in union busting, he has argued many cases before the NLRB.

Since Reagan, Republicans have tried to stack the NLRB with anti-union, pro-employer picks.  However, they have never overtly chosen a union busting lawyer.  Seaton is so extreme that he was described by a fellow union buster this way: “I’m on the same side as Doug, but he is one of the most extreme management-side lawyers I know. I’m not a big fan of unions, but Doug is much less of a fan.”

With two seats open on the NLRB and Trump releasing a short list of three management side lawyers, it is very likely that Seaton will be nominated.  This has caused labor leaders to be up in arms about the selection.  American Federation of Teachers (AFT) President Randi Weingarten said that Seaton has no place on the board and this is another example of Trump turning his back on workers.  Former Communications Workers of America (CWA) President Larry Cohen called the possible nomination way out of line and said that it would be one of the worst nominations ever.

Seaton is a true believer in the anti-union movement.  In his effort to decertify SEIU he left his law office and took to the streets, canvassing to collect decertification cards.  This is a highly unusual move as the lawyers tend to focus just on the legal aspects of a decertification campaign. He also works closely with the Center for American Experiment, a right wing think tank that has bankrolled Right to Work campaigns in Minnesota and has ties to the Koch Brothers network.

It was only a few weeks ago that Trump told union members at the North American Build Trades Conference that unions had an open door to him. Trades may think they have an open door to meet with him, appointments like Seaton and Acosta prove that Trump is really in the pocket of Right to Work (for Less) union busters.

Make America Great Again.
Knock, Knock.
Who’s there?
Aren’t ya.
Aren’t ya who?
Aren’t you glad you voted for Trump

Contact Doug Seaton on Linkedin or at his office by phone, 952-921-4604, email or fax 952-896-1704

Sign up for our e-Newsletter!