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Griffin Confirmed as new NLRB GC

Gerald Lutkus

Gerald F. Lutkus

Of Counsel (Retired)

Griffin NLRBOrganized Labor officially has full control of the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB). The nomination of the former General Counsel of the International Union of Operating Engineers – Richard Griffin – was confirmed Tuesday by the Senate on a 55-44 vote.

This marks the first time in three years that a General Counsel has been confirmed by the Senate and when Griffin is sworn in, it will be the first time in 10 years that there are five Board members and a General Counsel all confirmed by the Senate for full terms.

Griffin will serve a four-year term, so he will remain in place after the 2016 elections. Given Griffin’s background, his voting record during his short controversial stint on the Board as a “recess” appointee, and the solid 3-2 pro-union majority now sitting on the Board, one can expect that it will be full speed ahead on the Board’s pro-Union agenda.

Union use of company-owned e-mail systems, ambush elections, NLRB notice posting, Weingarten rights and a continued broadening of the Board’s recent intrusions into non-union work places are all likely targets.

Upon Griffin’s confirmation, NLRB Chairman Mark Pearce stated that Griffin’s confirmation “will ensure the NLRB’s ability to enforce the National Labor Relations Act” which guarantees the rights of workers “to organize and bargain collectively” and to engage in “concerted activities to improve their pay and working conditions.”

Others weren’t as complimentary. Ronald Meisburg, a former General Counsel but now in private practice stated that “Things have been relatively quiet at the Board this past few months. Expect that to end.” Labor watchdog Fred Wszolek from the Workforce Fairness Institute, pulled out his best Luke Skywalker and put it even more succinctly: “We now have a fully functioning Death Star.”


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