Board That Protects Workers’ Rights Could Be Unable To Operate Next Year

WASHINGTON, D.C. – The National Labor Relations Board is an independent federal agency that protects the rights of private sector workers. The five-member body primarily acts as a quasi-judicial body to decide cases on the basis of formal records in administrative proceedings.

Except that by January, the board is unlikely to have a quorum. Members are appointed by the President to a 5-year term, with one member’s term expiring each year. Presidential appointments need Senate consent – currently the board has three members, but when Craig Becker’s term expires at the end of the year it will be down to two.

A Supreme Court ruling last year requires the National Labor Relations Board to have at least three members to issue decisions.

Senate Republicans are likely to block any new nominations made by President Obama.

The board has been especially unpopular with conservatives since its general counsel issued a complaint against Boeing. The airplane manufacturer moved a production facility from Washington state, where workers are unionized, to South Carolina, which is a right-to-work state.

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