• For the second time, President Obama nominated Craig Becker to the NLRB to fill the remainder of a five-year term as a board member ending in December 2014. Obama originally announced his intention to nominate Becker in April 2009, but in February 2010, Senate Republicans and 11 Democrats voted to block a vote on Craig’s nomination. The following month, all 41 Republican senators sent a letter to Obama urging him not to recess appoint Becker, stating that Becker was too controversial and questioning his judgment and objectivity. Nonetheless, on March 27, 2010, Obama gave Becker a recess appointment that allows him to serve until the end of the Senate’s 2011 session.
  • President Obama nominated NLRB acting General Counsel, Lafe E. Solomon, to serve as the Board’s General Counsel. Solomon has been acting general counsel since June 2010 after the position was vacated by Ronald Meisburg. Solomon worked as an NLRB field examiner in 1972, graduated from Tulane University Law School in 1976, and has served as the head of the NLRB’s Office of Representation Appeals for the past 10 years. In addition to Solomon, President Obama also announced that he plans to nominate Terence F. Flynn as an NLRB Member. Flynn currently serves as chief counsel to NLRB board member Brian Hayes, and also has experience in the private sector, where he worked as a labor and employment litigator for several different firms, including Crowell & Moring LLP, David Hagner Kuney & Krupin, and Ried & Priest.
  • The NLRB sent letters to the Attorneys General of Arizona, South Carolina, South Dakota, and Utah, contending that the NLRA preempts voter-approved constitutional amendments in each state that guarantee or require the use of secret ballots in union representation elections. The NLRB stated that unless it received a judicially sanctioned stipulation concerning the unconstitutionality of the amendments within two weeks, it would initiate civil actions in federal court to invalidate the amendments. The NLRB has since withdrawn its threat to litigate the issue in hopes of negotiating an accommodation with the concerned parties.
  • The Governor of Iowa, Terry Branstad, issued an executive order prohibiting the use of project labor agreements (PLAs) on public works projects in the state. Under Branstad’s order, state agencies and political subdivisions in the state cannot use PLAs on any public works projects that receive state or federal funds. The order will not affect public works projects that already are under contract.