The Senate is scheduled to hold a “combined” confirmation hearing starting at 9:30 a.m. Eastern today on three Trump nominees for labor-and-employment-related positions: Marvin Kaplan and William Emanuel, both of whom have been nominated to vacant seats on the National Labor Relations Board, and Patrick Pizzella, who has been nominated to be Deputy Secretary of Labor. Votes by the Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions Committee on the NLRB nominees are currently scheduled for July 19. Mr. Pizzella’s vote has not yet been scheduled.
However, yesterday, a slew of employee advocates sent a letter to the HELP Committee Chair, Sen. Lamar Alexander (R-Tenn.), and Ranking Member Sen. Patty Murray (D-Wash.), asking that the hearing be postponed. The writers object to the “combined” hearing and contend that there has not been enough time to review the candidates’ records. Moreover, the writers question the records of the three candidates:
[T]here are significant questions about each of these nominees. Mr. Pizzella worked closely with Jack Abramoff to lobby for policies on the Commonwealth of Northern Mariana Islands that essentially allowed for unchecked slave labor to be performed with the imprimatur of the “Made in the U.S.A.” label on goods and clothing. Mr. Kaplan and Mr. Emanuel both have made extensive critiques of important NLRB decisions supporting workers’ rights, and have long records of efforts to weaken worker protections under the National Labor Relations Act. Moreover, they are involved in current efforts that may present substantial conflicts of interest should they be confirmed to the NLRB.
Signatories to the letter include the Leadership Conference on Civil and Human Rights, the National Employment Law Project, the NAACP, Lambda Legal, and a whole lot of unions.
I suspect that the hearing will go forward as scheduled. We’ll stay on top of it.