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The Importance of the NLRB

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Josh Eidelson has an important piece at The Nation reminding us of the National Labor Relations Board’s vital importance for workers, an especially important issue given its extremely tenuous lifeline to effectiveness given Republican attacks:

With Obama’s re-election uncertain and pro-labor legislation stillborn, the NLRB’s actions this year may represent the last chance for years at improving the legal regime facing workers seeking to extract a measure of justice from the one percent. Obama’s appointees did enough last year – investigating aerospace giant Boeing, modestly reforming union election rules, reversing some Bush precedents – to guarantee the hatred of the anti-union Right. But labor and its advocates will judge the Board on whether it seizes three key opportunities over the coming year.

First, there are workers across America waiting for the NLRB to remedy alleged crimes by their employers. One of these workers is Elvis Alvira, a Long Island technician who says he began organizing a union at T-Mobile after a manager’s favoritism forced him to work an hour away from his house while his wife was at home coping with a high-risk pregnancy. Alvira and the majority of his 15 co-workers filed a petition with the NLRB last May seeking to join the Communications Workers of America.

Many of us might be disappointed in Obama for various reasons, but it’s also worth reminding ourselves of the vital importance in making sure that he be reelected.

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