March 27, 2010
Statement by Randi Weingarten,
President, American Federation of Teachers,
On the Recess Appointments of Craig Becker and Mark Pearce
To the National Labor Relations Board
President Barack Obama today made 15 recess appointments, including two key appointments to the National Labor Relations Board which for months had been blocked from coming to a vote in the United States Senate.
WASHINGTON—President Obama has taken a bold stand to restore functioning and balance to the National Labor Relations Board, and against obstructionists who put business interests and partisan politics above the needs of American workers.
The appointments of Craig Becker and Mark Pearce signal a long-overdue shift—whereby workers, and not just bosses, will receive equal consideration in crucial matters such as labor disputes and elections. While numerous business interests and their allies in the Senate formed an obstructionist alliance to deny a vote on these clearly highly-qualified nominees, hundreds of important matters backed up and could not be adjudicated. The statutes the NLRB enforces are key to supporting basic rights in the workplace and to advancing collective bargaining as a vital component of U.S. public policy.
Giving voice to workers is good for the country. The anti-worker bias of President Bush’s labor appointments effectively deprived American workers and labor unions of fair hearings by the NLRB and other important bodies. We are delighted that the newest appointments to the NLRB are two men who throughout their careers have shown a deep understanding of workers’ concerns and of the fair application of employment and labor law.
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The AFT represents more than 1.4 million pre-K through 12th-grade teachers; paraprofessionals and other school-related personnel; higher education faculty and professional staff; federal, state and local government employees; nurses and healthcare workers; and early childhood educators.