WASHINGTON — Labor groups on Wednesday applauded steps taken to resolve of longstanding disputes holding up Senate confirmation of appointees to the National Labor Relations Board and the Department of Labor.
President Obama on Tuesday appointed Kent Hirozawa and Nancy Schiffer to the National Labor Relations Board, replacing nominees Richard Griffin and Sharon Block, whose disputed appointments had crippled the agency. Hirozawa is currently chief counsel to NLRB Chairman Mark Pearce. Schiffer most recently was associate general counsel for the AFL-CIO.
The appointments are expected to receive a speedy vote from Republicans, who had long fought the controversial recess appointments of Griffin and Block. Democrats in the meantime agreed to drop a proposal that would have made Senate approval of such appointees unnecessary.
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The agreement is also expected to pave the way for confirmation votes for Thomas Perez, nominated four months ago as Secretary of Labor, as well as several appointees to the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau.
Joe Hansen, international president of the United Food and Commercial Workers, in a statement Wednesday said it was “the best day for workers and their families in years,” adding, “Today a path was created to confirm a Secretary of Labor with a track record of standing up for workers’ rights, a fully functioning NLRB that can carry out its important mission of promoting collective bargaining and protecting the right to organize, and the first director of the CFPB so everyday consumers have an advocate to defend them from the predatory practices of big banks.”
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