• All five of the individuals nominated by President Obama to serve as members of the NLRB were confirmed by the Senate. The term of the current NLRB Chairman Mark Gaston Pearce, a Democrat, would have expired in August. Also confirmed are Democrats Kent Hirozawa, Pearce’s former chief counsel, and Nancy Schiffer, who is a former UAW attorney and the former associate general counsel at the AFL-CIO. The Republicans confirmed by the Senate are Philip A. Miscimarra, partner at Morgan Lewis & Bockius LLP, and Harry I. Johnson III, a partner at Arent Fox LLP. The nominations of Schiffer and Hirozawa replaced President Obama’s previous nominations of Richard F. Griffin Jr. and Sharon Block, who were appointed by the President during what the administration considered a Senate recess. Those nominations were found unlawful by the D.C. Circuit, Third Circuit and Fourth Circuit (see above).
  • The leaders of the Teamsters, United Food and Commercial Workers International (“UFCW”) and UNITE HERE sent a letter to Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid and House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi, warning the politicians about incentives in the Affordable Care Act that would cut workers’ hours and end their health care benefits. The union leaders pointed to incentives to cut workers’ hours to fewer than 30 per week, the lack of subsidies for the type of health care plans many unionized workers receive and the taxation of other health care plans.
  • The Department of Labor released the final version of its persuader rule, which will expand the requirements for reporting agreements between employers and labor relations consultants hired in connection with organizing campaigns. The rule currently only requires reports to be filed if the consultant has direct contact with employees, but the proposed rule would require reporting even where the consultant does not directly contact employees.
  • The NLRB and the Department of Justice Civil Rights Division’s Office of Special Counsel for Immigration-Related Unfair Labor Practices signed a memorandum of understanding to collaborate in the event of overlapping claims. The NLRB and the Office of Special Counsel will refer cases to each other where there are discrimination and claims relating to the right to organize.
  • Voters in SeaTac, Washington will vote in November on an Ordinance Setting Minimum Employment Standards for Hospitality and Transportation Industry Employers, which would require businesses operating at SeaTac International Airport to pay higher wages, provide paid sick leave and guarantee job security. Affected employees include baggage handlers, aircraft cleaners and fuelers, and hotel and food service workers, who would receive a $15 per hour minimum wage with annual inflation adjustment. Alaska Airlines, the Washington Restaurant Association, and a business owner at the airport previously attempted to stop the SeaTac city council from adopting the ordinance or putting it on the ballot, but a judge determined that the case was not yet ripe. The businesses believe that the ordinance is preempted by the Railway Labor Act, the NLRA and the Airline Deregulation Act. The ordinance is supported by the SEIU, Teamsters, UFCW, and UNITE HERE.
  • Linda Puchala was appointed chairman of the NMB, succeeding Harry Hoglander. The NMB’s three-member panel currently has one seat empty, with Puchala and Hoglander rotating chairmanship annually pursuant to NMB tradition. Prior to joining the NMB, Puchala was on the staff of the NMB and previously worked as an airline employee and president of the Association of Flight Attendants-CWA.