Today, President Obama appointed two pro-union attorneys, Craig Becker and Mark Pearce, to the National Labor Relations Board. Obama made these appointments unilaterally, using what is known as a recess appointment, which is an appointment made while Congress is not in session and does not require Congress’ assent. Brian Hayes, a third nominee and member of the GOP, was left behind to be voted on by Congress.
These recess appointments do not bode well for employers. Becker, a controversial pro-union advocate, most recently was employed as Associate General Counsel for the Service Employees International Union and prior to that worked as an attorney for the AFL-CIO. Pearce also is a pro-union attorney. With these appointments, the NLRB will now have a 3-1 Democratic majority. Because these appointments were made during a Congressional recess, the terms for these appointees will end in 2011 whereas appointments with Congressional approval last five years.