‘Pro-Worker Majority Restored’ At The National Labor Relations Board During What’s Turned Out To Be A ‘Summer Of Progress’ For Organized Labor
(WASHINGTON, D.C.) - All 50 Democrats and a handful of Republicans voted to seat Gwynne Wilcox and David Prouty, bringing an end to four bleak years for wronged Workers seeking justice from the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB).
The confirmations restore a 3-2 Pro-Worker majority on the Board, capping a landmark July for Federal nominees who embody President Joe Biden’s promise to be the “most Pro-Union” President ever.
On Day 1, Biden signed the first in a stack of Executive Orders benefiting Workers and boldly fired the NLRB’s aggressively Anti-Union General Counsel.
Two weeks later, he nominated a card-carrying Boston Tradesman to head the U.S. Labor Department (DOL).
Now, Secretary Marty Walsh and other new leaders and Staff at agencies under the DOL umbrella are steering the institutions back to their roots, reaffirming their statutory duty to protect Workers from employer abuses.
“President Biden is booting the foxes from the hen houses as fast as he can, and he’s arming his new hires with stronger policy and enforcement tools than we’ve seen in generations,” International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers (IBEW) President Lonnie Stephenson said. “He is literally rebuilding the Federal infrastructure that Workers and Unions depend on. When he talks about ‘building back better,’ he doesn’t just mean roads and tunnels and technology - he means us.”
More than any other President, Biden has used the White House bully pulpit to champion Labor, reminding Americans again and again that Unions built the Middle Class.
His nominees, especially for jobs that hold sway over Workers, have lived and breathed those values.
In June, he chose a former Union Organizer, Jennifer Sung, to serve on the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals.
Her confirmation is pending.
Currently, Sung is a Judge on the Oregon Employment Relations Board.
A colleague said she’s the perfect choice: “She has represented Working People. Not many people on the bench have done that.”
At the NLRB, Prouty and Wilcox, the first Black Woman to serve on the Board, aren’t the only recent newcomers.
In a tie vote broken by Vice President Kamala Harris, the Senate confirmed a third Union-side Attorney, Jennifer Abruzzo, as General Counsel on July 21st.
Abruzzo most recently worked for the Communications Workers of America (CWA), but spent 22 earlier years with the NLRB, rising from a Field Attorney in Miami to Deputy General Counsel during President Obama’s second term.
She even had a fleeting stint as acting General Counsel in November 2017, but was quickly displaced by Peter Robb, a Union-Busting Trump nominee who cut his teeth helping President Ronald Reagan fire the Nation’s Air Traffic Controllers back in 1981.
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