Letter opposing the Nomination of Craig Becker to Become a Member of the National Labor Relations Board

Wednesday, February 3, 2010 - 7:00pm

February 4, 2010

The Honorable Tom Harkin

Chairman

Committee on Health, Education, Labor,
and Pensions

United States Senate

Washington, DC 20510

The Honorable Mike Enzi
Ranking Member
Committee on Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions
United States Senate
Washington, DC 20510

Dear Chairman Harkin and Ranking Member Enzi:

The U.S. Chamber of Commerce, the world's largest business federation representing the interests of more than three million businesses and organizations of every size, sector, and region, urges the Committee to oppose reporting to the full Senate the President's nomination of Craig Becker to serve as a member of the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB).

While the Chamber applauds you for holding a hearing on Mr. Becker's controversial nomination, the Chamber opposes his confirmation. The Chamber does not take this step lightly. This is only the third time in more than 30 years that this organization has opposed a nominee to the Board, most recently the 1993 nomination of William B. Gould.

Mr. Becker has written prolifically about the National Labor Relations Act, the law he would be charged with interpreting and enforcing should he be confirmed. Many of the positions taken in his writings are well outside the mainstream and would disrupt years of established precedent and the delicate balance in current labor law. These positions have raised significant concerns in the employer community.

While this week's hearing began to examine some of these important questions, too many concerns remain for employers to be comfortable with this nomination. Among those concerns are the extent to which Mr. Becker would restrictively interpret employers' free speech rights and the extent to which he would seek to expand the use of intermittent strikes and other forms of work stoppages that disrupt the right of employers to maintain operations during labor disputes.

For these reasons, the Chamber urges you to oppose the nomination of Craig Becker to become a Member of the National Labor Relations Board and to oppose reporting his nomination to the full Senate.

Sincerely,

R. Bruce Josten

Cc: The Members of the Senate Committee on Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions