Senate Confirms Two NLRB Seats

Last Wednesday, the U.S. Senate confirmed union lawyers Gwynne Wilcox and David Prouty to seats on the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB), creating an eventual 3-2 Democratic majority that will likely reverse many of former President Trump’s employer-friendly decisions. The NLRB hears unfair labor practice charges brought by workers and unions and oversees private-sector union elections.

The Senate voted 52-47 to approve the nomination of Wilcox, a partner at Levy Ratner in New York, and 53-46 to confirm Prouty, the general counsel of a major New York City service worker union.

A White House spokesperson said Pres. Biden has “made it a priority to appoint members to the NLRB who will protect worker organizing, collective bargaining, and workers’ rights to engage in concerted activity.”

Wilcox will fill a seat left vacant when former Chair Mark Pearce’s term expired in 2018. Prouty’s five-year term will commence next month when Republican William Emanuel’s term ends.

In a July 15 hearing, Sen. Richard Burr of North Carolina, the ranking Republican on the U.S. Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions (HELP) Committee, called the nominees “very troublesome” because of their partisan records that were outside of the mainstream.

“Instead of bringing employers and workers together to resolve problems, these nominees want to create conflict, expand bureaucracy, and empower unions above all else,” Burr said.

The Senate last week voted 51-50 to confirm Jennifer Abruzzo, a career NLRB attorney, as the board’s general counsel. On his first day in office, Pres. Biden dismissed Trump-era General Counsel Peter Robb.

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