On January 26, 2011 President Obama nominated Craig Becker to fill the remainder of a five-year term as a board member of the NLRB. Obama has been intent on securing Becker a seat on the Board as far back as 2009. He originally nominated Becker in July 2009, but his nomination has been a lighting rod. Becker’s role as a former Associate General Counsel to the AFL-CIO and the Service Employees International Union (SEIU) (and the various legal positions he took in those positions over the years) has caused great concern about his approach to the interpreting and enforcing the National Labor Relations Act.
When the Senate was unable to act on his nomination, Becker was given a recess appointment in March 27, 2010 – – giving him a seat on the NLRB until December 2011.
Becker’s time on the Board has done nothing to calm the uproar over this nomination. In the days following the announcement, the Workforce Fairness Institute, Alliance for Worker Freedom, and the Coalition for a Democratic Workplace all expressed disappointment and condemned the appointment. Additionally, Senators Mike Enzi (R-Wyo) and Orrin Hatch (R-Utah) immediately called for the withdrawal of the nomination in a letter to President Obama, stating “[Becker] has led the Board to reopen and reverse settled decisions, made discrete cases a launching point for broad changes to current labor law, and used an 18-year-old petition to initiate a rulemaking proposal [to create a new employee NLRA rights poster] that likely exceeds the Board’s statutory authority.” And, now, all 48 Republican senators have signed on to the letter calling for the withdrawal of the nomination.