nlrbIn response to the ongoing drama over Craig Becker’s nomination, NLRB Chairman Wilma Liebman issued a statement condemning the persistent vacancies on the board.  Here it is in full:

In response to numerous press inquiries, National Labor Relations Board Chairman Wilma Liebman made the following statement regarding nominations to the Board of Craig Becker, Mark Pearce and Brian Hayes that have been pending before the Senate since July of 2009:

“I am disappointed that we still do not have a fully constituted Board despite the naming of three nominees last summer. The Board has been in limbo for a long time. For more than two years, the Board has had to operate with three vacancies, leaving only myself and Member Peter Schaumber to decide the hundreds of cases that come before us. We have done our best to carry out the Board’s important work, issuing more than 500 decisions in cases involving thousands of workers across the country. But our authority to do so has been challenged and now the Supreme Court will decide whether we can continue to function. At the same time, the Board has been unable to move forward on the most significant cases before it. I look forward to a time in the near future when the Board is back at full capacity resolving issues vital to American workers and their employers.”

The National Labor Relations Board is an independent federal agency vested with the power to safeguard employees’ rights to organize and to determine whether to have unions as their bargaining representative. The agency also acts to prevent and remedy unfair labor practices committed by private sector employers and unions.

Wilma Liebman was elevated to Chair of the NLRB by President Obama last year, after serving on the board during the latter part of the Bush years since 1997, when she was nominated to the seat by President Bill Clinton.  Liebman is a staunch advocate for workers and has used her time on the board to eloquently defend their rights.

Remember that Tom Harkin had much the same sentiment before wrapping up Becker’s hearing this week:

Harkin: Thank you.  To your family, you must be very proud of Craig Becker.  I say that as someone who comes from a working class family.  Those who represent working people who help them secure their rights, I can think of no better calling.  I’m very proud of you and that you’ll be on the NLRB.  We’ll report this out of committee on Thursday.  I don’t know what the floor will be like but I assure you we will move this as expeditiously as possible on the floor so you can get to work.  It’s about time this board starts doing things.  Thank you very much.

Fingers crossed for Monday’s confirmation vote.