Sign-on Letter regarding Hearings for National Labor Relations Board and Department of Labor Nominees

Categories: Advocacy Letter, Economic Security

View a PDF of this letter here. 

Recipient: Senate Committee on Health, Education, Labor and Pensions

Dear Chairman Alexander and Ranking Member Murray:

The Leadership Conference on Civil and Human Rights, the National Employment Law Project and the 47 undersigned organizations write to express our profound concern with the HELP Committee’s apparent rush to hold hearings on recently announced NLRB nominees William Emanuel and Marvin Kaplan, and DOL nominee Patrick Pizzella. Each are nominated for extremely important positions critical to the effective enforcement of workers’ rights. They require not only exceptional qualifications, but also demonstrated impartiality and professional work experience that would advance the missions of these agencies. As there are significant questions about each of these nominees, we urge the committee to give members adequate time to hold meetings with them, explore their records in full, and prepare for a robust hearing on all three nominees.

Instead, we understand that a hearing is scheduled for Thursday, July 13. Mr. Pizzella and Mr. Kaplan were officially nominated on June 20, and Mr. Emanuel’s nomination wasn’t made until June 29. The Senate will have only been in session for 10 days before Mr. Pizzella’s and Mr. Kaplan’s hearings, and a scant four days before Mr. Emanuel’s hearing. In carrying out its important role to advise and consent on presidential nominations, the Senate must conduct meaningful hearings where members have adequate time to examine the records of all nominees and be sufficiently informed about them.
Indeed, there are significant questions about each of these nominees. Mr. Pizzella worked closely with Jack Abramoff to lobby for policies on the Commonwealth of Northern Mariana Islands that essentially allowed for unchecked slave labor to be performed with the imprimatur of the “Made in the U.S.A.” label on goods and clothing. Mr. Kaplan and Mr. Emanuel both have made extensive critiques of important NLRB decisions supporting workers’ rights, and have long records of efforts to weaken worker protections under the National Labor Relations Act. Moreover, they are involved in current efforts that may present substantial conflicts of interest should they be confirmed to the NLRB.

These are but a few of the issues that must be fully examined with regard to each of these nominees. Thus, we urge that you postpone the hearings so that all committee members have an opportunity to thoroughly examine the records of these important nominees to the Department of Labor and the National Labor Relations Board. If you have any questions, please contact Judy Conti at the National Employment Law Project at jconti@nelp.org or June Zeitlin at The Leadership Conference on Civil and Human Rights at zeitlin@civilrights.org.

Sincerely,

The Leadership Conference on Civil and Human Rights
National Employment Law Project
9to5, National Association of Working Women
A Better Balance
American Federation of Labor and Congress of Industrial Organizations (AFL-CIO)
American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees (AFSCME)
American Federation of Teachers, AFL-CIO
Communications Workers of America
Demos
Department for Professional Employees, AFL-CIO
Economic Policy Institute Policy Center
Equal Rights Advocates
Family Values @ Work
Institute for Science and Human Values
Interfaith Worker Justice
International Association of Machinists & Aerospace Workers
International Brotherhood of Teamsters
International Federation of Professional & Technical Engineers (IFPTE)
International Longshore and Warehouse Union
International Union of Bricklayers and Allied Craftworkers
International Union UAW
Jobs With Justice
Kentucky Equal Justice Center
Labor Project for Working Families in partnership with Family Values @ Work
Lambda Legal
Legal Aid at Work
Los Angeles Alliance for a New Economy
Massachusetts Law Reform Institute
NAACP
National Action Network
National Asian Pacific American Women’s Forum (NAPAWF)
National Center for Transgender Equality
National Domestic Workers Alliance
National Education Association
National Employment Lawyers Association
National Federation of Federal Employees, IAMAW
National Guestworker Alliance
National LGBTQ Task Force Action Fund
National Partnership for Women & Families
National Women’s Law Center
Oregon Center for Public Policy
Oxfam America
Restaurant Opportunities Centers United
Sargent Shriver National Center on Poverty Law
Service Employees International Union (SEIU)
UNITE HERE
Utility Workers Union of America, AFL-CIO
Work Environment Council of New Jersey
Workplace Fairness