My column today examines the recent developments at the National Labor Relations Board:
Like much of the rest of Washington, the supposedly independent National Labor Relations Board has been the scene of bare-knuckled partisan conflict for years now. But the White House may have finally found a way to resolve that: The new board will have no Republicans at all.
With no fanfare, Brian Hayes, the sole remaining Republican serving on it, stepped down Sunday as his term expired. That leaves just three people on the five-member board, which enforces the National Labor Relations Act.
Traditionally, the White House appoints three seats and allows the minority party to get two. Right now, all three members are Democrats appointed by President Obama.
In addition to Chairman Mark Gaston Pearce, they are: Sharon Block, a former staffer for the late Sen. Ted Kennedy; and Richard Griffin, former chief attorney for the International Union of Operating Engineers as well as a board member of the AFL-CIO’s Lawyers Coordinating Committee.
These three people are the ones who will be enforcing federal labor regulations, overseeing union workplace elections and mediating labor-management disputes for the foreseeable future.