Dems Push Board Nominees Through HELP Committee: Law360 ($$) reports that yesterday, the Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pension (HELP) Committee voted to send President Obama’s nominations to the National Labor Relations Board to the full Senate for a vote. Interestingly, the vote was incredibly partisan, as Republican nominees Harry Johnson III and Philip Miscimarra sailed through the process, while Democrats Sharon Block and Richard Griffin each received nine "no" votes from Republicans on the Committee.
The Board has been in hot water since January’s famous Noel Canning ruling out of the D.C. Circuit found President Obama’s recess appointments to be invalid. Senate Democrats, commenting on the committee meetings, noted that the law is still uncertain and the Board should continue to function until the Supreme Court decides the issue.
“We can all have our opinions about this, but there’s a conflict and there’s going to be a decision. What we’re missing in this debate so far is whether this board is going to function,” said Sen. Robert P. Casey Jr., D-Pa. “Unless you believe the board should be shut down, we should all be working toward making sure there is a functioning board.”
UMass Nurses Set to Strike: Priyanka Dayal McCluskey of the Telegram writes that UMass Memorial Medical Center management and representatives for the more than 1,000 nurses at UMass worked through the night last night in an effort to avoid a planned strike by the nurses, set to begin at 6:00AM this morning. The major disagreement between the two sides continues to involve staffing levels.
UMass has taken steps to respond to the potential strike, hiring temporary replacements and rescheduling elective surgeries and other voluntary procedures. We will keep you posted as the negotiations near a conclusion.
Labor Officials Allege ULPs by Maine Manufacturer: Matt Hongoltz-Hetling of the Morning Sentinel reports that labor leaders have accused ALCOM, a Maine-based manufacturer, of illegally firing five workers who began discussions about organizing a union. A spokesman for the AFL-CIO railed against the firings, saying they were clearly in violation of the National Labor Relations Act.
"This is a clear example of an employer firing people for union activity and trying to create a climate of fear in the workplace when workers are trying to organize," [the official] said.
ALCOM, through a spokesman, issued a strong denial, stating that the company supports the right of workers to choose. We will keep you posted as the matter moves through the investigative process.