• President Obama nominated Morgan Lewis & Bockius partner Philip A. Miscimarra and Arent Fox partner Harry I. Johnson III to the NLRB in a bid to fill the Board’s remaining open seats. The nominations follow the long standing tradition of appointing two opposing party members to the Board, which already has three Democrats. President Obama also nominated current NLRB Chairman Pearce to serve a second term following the expiration of his current term this fall. The President’s prior nominations of Board Members Griffin and Block (whose recess appointments were adjudged to be unconstitutional by the D.C. Circuit Court of Appeals in Noel Canning) remain pending.
  • President Obama nominated Linda Puchala to a second term on the National Mediation Board (“NMB”) and Harry Hoglander to a fourth term. Previous nominations were not acted upon before the 112th Congress ended its session. The President had also nominated Nicholas Christopher Geale for a NMB vacancy in January 2013. Although both Puchala and Hoglander’s terms have expired, they continue on the Board pursuant to the Railway Labor Act.
  • The U.S. House of Representatives passed the Preventing Greater Uncertainty in Labor-Management Relations Act, 219-209, in an effort to freeze the NLRB’s work until issues related to the Board’s lack of a quorum, relating to the D.C. Circuit’s ruling in Noel Canning, are resolved. The bill also aims to prevent the Board from enforcing or implementing any decisions or rules made since January 4, 2012, when the questionable recess appointments were made. Senator Lamar Alexander introduced a companion bill in the Senate, with co-sponsorship from 11 Republican senators.
  • By a 6-5 vote, the Anchorage, Alaska Assembly passed a new labor ordinance that strips municipal unions’ rights to strike and use binding arbitration, limits contract raises to 1 percent a year over the Anchorage consumer price index, and requires pooled health insurance coverage. The ordinance went into effect immediately and covers about 2,000 municipal workers represented by nine labor unions.
  • New Jersey Governor Chris Christie vetoed a bill that would have allowed more of the state’s public works projects to use project labor agreements. The governor justified his veto by stating that the bill would slow the state’s efforts to rebuild following superstorm Sandy. The bill would have included highways, bridges, pumping stations, and water and sewage plants in the definition of “public works project”, making such projects eligible for the project labor agreements.