President George W. Bush has submitted his nominees to fill the three vacancies on the National Labor Relations Board – and two of them may face a less-than-easy road to confirmation coming off a rocky year for the agency.
After recent term expirations left the Board operating with only two members, on Friday, the president announced his intention to renominate former Board Chairman Robert Batista, a Republican, to return to the agency’s chief post. Bush is also renominating Democrat Dennis P. Walsh to the Board.
The third nominee will be Republican Gerard Morales, a labor, construction and employment partner at Phoenix firm Snell & Wilmer. He is a former adjunct professor at the University of Arizona College of Law and a former NLRB field attorney.
Sen. Edward M. Kennedy, chairman of the Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions Committee which recently called NLRB members to testify before congress to explain some of their decisions, wasted no time in giving his opinion of the two Republican nominees.
“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,” Kennedy said in a statement Friday after Bush made the nomination announcement. “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.”