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Obama Appoints Becker and Pearce to the NLRB

This weekend brought big news: President Obama used his Constitutional appointment powers to fill two slots on the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) that have been vacant since 2007. Craig Becker and Mark Pearce will be added to the five-member board, which administrates disputes between labor and management.

American Rights at Work applauds these appointments as an effective first step toward improving conditions for America's workers. Said Executive Director Kimberly Freeman Brown in a statement:

"When jobs are scarce, workers are often forced to endure unfair working conditions. America's workers need a fully functioning NLRB to medite their claims for better wages, benefits and other rights now more than ever - and after two long years they have one."

A group of 46 of the country's leading labor law scholars are similarly pleased at the prospect of a functioning NLRB. They signed a letter to President Obama, thanking him for his action on this issue. "These new Board Members will bring their wealth of experience as legal scholars and labor law practitioners to serve with fairness and integrity," the letter states, "We again extend our appreciation to you for making the recess appointments that will allow the Board to tackle this work.

The scholars' letter also reminds us that recess appointments are hardly uncommon or unprecedented. George W. Bush made 171 recess appointments during his eight years in office — Ronald Reagan made 243.