Last week, The Hill’s Congress blog published two opinion pieces, by Fred Wszolek of the anti-union Workforce Fairness Institute and Trey Kovaks of the libertarian Competitive Enterprise Institute, attacking the board. Both authors repeat a number of standard right-wing attacks on the NLRB. Wszolek criticizes the recess appointment of former union lawyer Richard Griffin, while Kovaks proposes abolishing the board altogether.
Kovacs correctly point out that the practice of appointing board members who come from management and labor backgrounds started with President Eisenhower. In the 1930s and 1940s, many board members were academics or career civil servants, not management or labor officials, and often social scientists rather than lawyers. But since the 1950s, the practice has been that of appointing a majority from the President’s party, meaning that decisions under a Democratic Administration often favor workers, while those under a GOP Administration favor employers.