House Dems Blast Senate GOP Over Board Nominees: NBC News reports that Democratic House Members Linda Sanchez (CA) and Joe Courtney (CT) participated in a teleconference yesterday and strongly urged Senate Republicans not to filibuster President Obama’s nominees to the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB). The House members took particular issue with what the believed to be Senate "game-playing" at the expense of running the government.
“[It’s] a shameless attempt by Mitch McConnell to shut down the National Labor Relations Board and their ability to protect hard working Americans from unfair labor practices," Sanchez said. “We’re hopeful that Senator McConnell will wake up and smell that the American people are sick of this game playing. They want the regular wheels of government to turn. They want to have dates in court. They want to make sure that they can assert protections if they’re being abused by their employers and we can’t have that if we don’t have the NLRB. So, let’s hope that the letter has an impact on him and with the pressure that’s created from hard-working Americans that he’ll have a change of heart.”
The Labor Board, currently mired in a struggle for legitimacy due to several recent rulings invalidating President Obama’s recess appointments, is a favorite target of Senate Republicans because of its recent wild swings in jurisprudence. We have been watching this issue unfold since the beginning and will certainly keep you up to date.
BART Strike May Be Back On: Mike Rosenberg of the Mercury News writes that Bay Area Rapid Transit (BART) workers angrily expressed their frustration to BART management last night, promising to return to the picket lines if the parties could not reach a new collective-bargaining agreement by August 4, 2013.
"We will be prepared for the war that you all have launched on your workforce," Roxanne Sanchez, president of the local Service Employees International Union, told the board. Unless the agency changes its stance at the negotiation table, she said, "We will be prepared for the bloodiest, longest strike since the 1970s," when a labor dispute shut down BART for three months in 1979.
The highly-charged rhetoric from the Union comes after months and months of negotiations between the parties have failed to bring about a new contract for BART workers. A federal mediator has been brought in to facilitate the parties’ discussions, but so far little progress has been made. We will keep you posted as this story develops further.
MN Orchestra Bags Summer Schedule Allan Kozinn of the New York Times reports that the highly-rated Minnesota Orchestra has been forced to cancel its summer schedule as a long-running labor dispute with management officials shows no signs of resolving itself. The orchestra members have been locked out since last fall, when their previous collective-bargaining agreement expired. Recently, the Orchestra’s director suggested that he would be forced to resign if the labor dispute went on for much longer. We have reported on this issue in other posts and will certainly be following it as it reaches a conclusion.