Former Bush NLRB Chairman Robert Battista, joins union avoidance law firm

Who would have thunk it? Former Bush NLRB appointee now working for anti-union law firm.

For quite some time the NLRB has been favoring employers, now former Chairman Robert Battista can help exploit American workers, using laws he helped create.

According to American Rights at Work (5/5/08):
Breaking: Battista Now Busting Unions For Profit
Written by Erin Johansson

For years I've been writing that Robert Battista, former chair of the National Labor Relations Board, has been doing the bidding of anti-union employers by dismantling protections for workers under the law. Apparently, he's now going to be doing the bidding of anti-union employers and making a lot more money at notorious unionbusting firm Littler Mendelson (see a sample of their unionbusting strategies: Littler Mendelson’s Dos & Don’ts).

Battista asked Bush to withdraw his nomination as Labor Board chair, which was going nowhere, and joined the firm that John Logan of the London School of Economics called one of the "nation’s first law firms to conduct aggressive union avoidance campaigns."

Now Battista can make money telling employers how to exploit the law he helped to weaken in order to prevent their workers from organizing.
Heres some links on the NLRB in the Bush years
"Today, fewer workers have fewer rights and weaker remedies under the National Labor Relations Act," said Liebman, who was appointed to the board by President Clinton. "Virtually every recent policy choice by the board impedes collective bargaining, creates obstacles to union representation or favors employer interests." Unions have protested what they call anti-union decisions from the current National Labor Relations Board. They particularly point to 61 decisions the board made in September they say hurt unionized workers.

"Since its installation in 2002, the Bush administration's labor board has embarked on a systematic and insidious effort to radically overhaul our federal labor law and its regulation of labor relations in the private sector," AFL-CIO lawyer Jonathan Hiatt said.

If anti-union employees can get 30 percent of eligible employees to sign a petition within 45 days, an NLRB secret-ballot election will take place, the decision said.

"This is an encouraging step forward for employee freedom," said Stefan Gleason, vice president of the National Right to Work Foundation.

National Right to Work Legal Defense Foundation lawyers challenged the card-check system for workers at two auto parts suppliers, Dana Corp., an Ohio auto parts maker and Metaldyne Corp.,of Plymouth, Mich., who were organized by the United Auto Workers.

The NLRB, however, said its decision would only apply to future card check campaigns, leaving the Dana Corp. and Metaldyne Corp. employees as members of the UAW.

The board's decision will make it less likely that a company will voluntarily agree to a card-check campaign, said NLRB members Dennis P. Walsh and Wilma B. Liebman.

"An employer has little incentive to recognize a union voluntarily if it knows that its decision is subject to second-guessing through a decertification petition," the two wrote.

As Ted Kennedy said:

WASHINGTON, DC—Today, the White House announced the President’s intent to nominate Robert Battista and Gerald Morales to the National Labor Relations Board.

Senator Edward M. Kennedy said, “It’s unbelievable that President Bush would renominate Mr. Battista to the Board, after he led the most anti-worker, anti-labor, anti-union Board in its history. America’s hard-working men and women deserve a Board that will uphold their rights, not undermine them. With these nominations, the Administration has again demonstrated its hostility to fairness and justice in the workplace.”

"This is not the NLRB. This is George Bush's board. This is Dick Cheney's board. This is the Chamber of Commerce's board. This is the National Association of Manufacturers' board. And it sure as hell ain't the Labor Board!” declared Mine Workers President Cecil Roberts.

The marchers protested 61 NLRB decisions, virtually all by party-line 3-2 votes, starting in late September and continuing, that stripped away many workers' rights. They included rulings making it easier to oust unions through what are called "decertification petitions” -- rulings making it harder for workers illegally fired for pro-union work to get back pay, and rulings making it easier for firms to break labor law.
Human Rights Watch wishes to express our deepest concern that the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) decision in the so-called Kentucky River Trilogy violates United States obligations under international human rights law and international labor law. The decision announces an expanded definition of “supervisor” under the National Labor Relations Act (NLRA), the main U.S. law governing workers’ right to organize. Under the new definition, employers can classify as “supervisors” those employees with incidental oversight over coworkers, even when such oversight is far short of genuine managerial or supervisory authority.

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