Lauren McFerran (D.) was confirmed along party lines, 54-40, by the U.S. Senate, and sworn in to the NLRB. McFerrran will serve a five-year term, set to expire December 16, 2019. Earlier in 2014, the Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions Committee voted 12-10, along party lines, to recommend confirmation of McFerran, who served most recently as chief labor counsel for the committee. McFerran replaces NLRB Member Nancy J. Schiffer, and the NLRB will maintain its current 3-2 Democratic majority.
Wisconsin Right to Work (WRTW), an organization affiliated with Americans for Prosperity, was recently established to promote legislation to make Wisconsin a right-to-work state. The organization seeks to expand on Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker’s efforts in the “Budget Repair Bill” or 2011 Wisconsin Act 10, which require annual recertification elections and prohibitions on automatically collecting union dues for public employers. Since the law was enacted, there has been a decline in union membership among public employees in Wisconsin.
Senator Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.) will be the keynote speaker at an ALF-CIO summit in early 2015. The summit will focus on wages, which has been a key focus of Warren’s platform. Senator Patty Murray of Washington will serve as the ranking Democrat on the Committee on Health, Education, Labor and Pensions. With Republicans in control of the Senate, the HELP Committee will be chaired by Lamar Alexander (R-Tenn.) Sen. Murray replaces Sen. Tom Harkin (D-Iowa).