(Image Source: More Perfect Union Twitter)
As efficient and committed as NLRB General Counsel Jennifer Abruzzo is at greasing the path for Big Labor, the overall picture of the rest of the Biden administration’s labor team seems like a clown scramble in a three-ring circus.
In the six months since the Democrats secured a majority on the NLRB they have yet to hand down a major precedent, though Abruzzo targeted 40 Trump-era decisions for reconsideration. Officials have found a plethora of excuses for inaction: lack of funds, the pandemic, and the legacy of those danged Republicans (including Peter Robb and William Emanuel).
If Big Labor was hoping for more muscle in their corner from Biden’s Supreme Court nominee, Judge Ketanji Brown Jackson has shown that when it comes to business and labor cases, she may not default to the liberal position. “She’s as likely to rule for a corporation in a race discrimination claim as she is for the plaintiff,” said Ted Ruger, Dean of the University of Pennsylvania Carey Law School.
A year after rolling into Washington, Biden is still stumping for his stalled PRO Act via his state of the union address. Attempts to secure some of the provision piecemeal using other legislation like the Build Back Better bill have also failed.
Keep an eye on Abruzzo – she is wicked smart and wholly committed, and she is orchestrating a “comprehensive administrative blitzkrieg” designed to succeed where the PRO Act languishes.
In an era where non-union employee work action is becoming the norm, it pays to remember that no union need be involved for such actions to be protected by the National Labor Relations Act, as Pain Relief Centers, P.A. discovered when five employees walked off the job after one of them was berated by a manager during an argument.
In at least one recent definitive decision, the NLRB ruled that seasonal stage technicians working in a New York City park were allowed to unionize.