While some are trumpeting the deal reached between Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid and Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell on filibustered nominees, the devil is in the details. Part of the deal involved President Obama withdrawing nominees to the National Labor Relations Board, a move one union leader considers a betrayal.
Larry Cohen, president of the Communications Workers of America (CWA), said Tuesday that the two members of the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB), Sharon Block and Richard Griffin Jr., are “definitely tossed under the bus” in a Senate deal that will allow five of Obama’s other nominees to receive up-or-down votes before the Senate.
“There is not one intellectual argument, either about Block and Griffin, why those nominations shouldn’t go forward. It’s just [Republicans] want their pound of flesh from working people in this country, and this is where they’re going to get it because they were able to convince four or five Democrats to go with them,” he said.
And what was so great about keeping the filibuster again? Doing damage to the filibuster might have been even better public policy than getting the appointments.The filibuster seems to make an appearance only for progressive legislation, then disappear for reactionary bills like the Patriot Act and TARP.
Cohen believes the NLRB nominees had a chance of getting through but some – so far unnamed – Senate Democrats refused to them support.
To those senators, whom he would not name, Cohen said, “That’s a disgrace what you did, and you did it for narrow political reasons, and in your states, you will have to answer to people who you told that you would stand by democratizing the U.S. Senate.”…
Cohen said that Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) was prepared to fight for Block and Griffin if he had the support of the full Senate Democratic conference.
Whether that is true or Reid spun Cohen a story is unclear. What is clear is the conservative assault on the NLRB have been effective due to co-conspirators in the Democratic Party. The lack of vigilance in defending the interests of workers is concerning to Cohen and other labor leaders who are witnessing a nationwide effort to bust unions.
Now in order to get this strangely celebrated “deal” unions are once again the ones on the losing end.