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NLRB Back to Full Strength with Pro-Union Majority

Gerald Lutkus

Gerald F. Lutkus

Of Counsel (Retired)

The NLRB has returned to its full complement of five Board members. Board Chairman Mark Gaston Pearce administered the oath of office this week to recess appointees Sharon Block (D), Terence F. Flynn (R) and Richard F. Griffin (D). They join Pearce and Republican Brian Hayes.

This marks the first time since August 2010 that the Board has all five of its posts filled. The swearing-in means that the controversial and sweeping changes in the law delivered in 2011 by the Obama Board will likely continue in 2012. While Republicans are delighted to see Craig Becker off the Board, he's been effectively replaced by Griffin, most recently general counsel of the International Union of Operating Engineers. New member Block (D) is a former Labor Department deputy assistant secretary for congressional affairs, and Republican Flynn was chief counsel to Republican board member Brian Hayes.

Chairman Pearce has indicated that he's looking to complete the changes already started to the NLRB election rules, a portion of which were passed in December. The new rules will be effective April 30, if not blocked by lawsuits, and will speed union-organizing elections. One measure still on the table would require employers to disclose to the union the email addresses of employees eligible to vote. The board could also consider implementing electronic voting for union-organizing elections.

Make sure your tray tables are up and in the fully locked position. This could be a rough ride.


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