By Dave Lindorff
The Democrats in Congress have sold out their supporters in the labor movement by giving up the so-called "card-check" feature of the embattled Employee Free Choice Act, which makes the "reform" legislation that has been billed as labor's "number one issue" much less of a reform. Instead of being hammered into line on this issue by party leaders and by President Obama, who has long pledged to back EFCA, conservative Democrats in the House and Senate were allowed to join Republicans in opposing the measure, leading to its replacement with a vague plan to require quicker secret-ballot elections in union-organizing drives.
But largely unnoticed by the corporate media, there has been some really important good news for working people and the labor movement: the appointment of three people to fill the long-vacant empty seats on the five-member National Labor Relations Board, which has the ultimate job of adjudicating issues under the National Labor Relations Act.
The Bush administration had basically gutted the NLRA by simply failing, since 2007, to fill the three seats that had been emptied as prior board members' five-year terms had expired. This had left the NLRB with only two members, one a Democratic, pro-labor appointee, and one a Republican pro-management appointee. Since these two members would vote on opposite sides of most issues, the only issues they ended up issuing decisions on were 400 particularly egregious cases, where they could both agree-and most of those are still in legal limbo since they have been challenged in court on the basis that board rules require a three-member quorum.
The Obama administration, in April, announced three new appointments to fill the vacant seats...For the rest of this story, please go to: www.thiscantbehappening.net
DAVE LINDORFF is a Philadelphia-based journalist. His latest book is "The Case for Impeachment" (St. Martin's Press, 2006). His work is available at www.thiscantbehappening.net