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Attack on NLRB Goes Beyond Washington, Costs Illinois Worker His Home

Attack on NLRB Goes Beyond Washington, Costs Illinois Worker His Home

Marcus Hedger, illegally fired in 2010, will have to wait even longer to get his job back if the Senate fails to confirm President Obama’s bipartisan nominees to serve on the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB).

Call your senators toll free at 1-888-264-6154 and tell them to confirm the board nominations now.

Hedger was illegally fired in 2010 from his pressman’s job at an Illinois printing company for his union activities on behalf of his fellow union members in the Graphic Communications Conference of the Teamsters. Last September, the full NLRB—two Democrats and one Republican, at the time—ruled he should get his job back with back pay.

But that has not happened yet—Hedger has lost his house in the meantime— because of a recent federal court ruling that AFL-CIO President Richard Trumka called “radical and unprecedented.”

Because of its ruling on the status of current recess-appointed NLRB members, that same court—the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit—has put off action on the appeal of Hedger’s reinstatement by his employer. In conference call with reporters this afternoon, Hedger said:

So, almost three years later, I still don’t have my job back, even though the NLRB unanimously ruled I should get my job back. I am asking the United States Senate to do what is right for the people who gave you the power to represent them, and to confirm the bipartisan package of nominees to the NLRB so that other workers can have their rights protected, just like the NLRB tried to protect my rights. Companies shouldn’t be able to get away with firing somebody just because they stood up for their rights. That’s un-American. We need a functioning NLRB to protect us and our rights.

The Senate Judiciary Committee is scheduled to hold a hearing Thursday on Obama’s NLRB nominees—three Democrats and two Republicans. Trumka went to the heart of the argument for getting the NLRB working again with a full board.

In order to rebuild our economy and level the playing field for all working people—union and nonunion—the law protecting workers’ rights must be enforced. That’s the role of the National Labor Relations Board—and it needs to work. The less the board works, the more America’s economy falls out of whack, as we see today, with record inequality and a shrinking middle class.

Along with refusing to act on nominations to the NLRB, Trumka said that during past several years:

Extremist congressional Republicans and corporate lobbyists who want to weaken the board’s power to protect workers who choose to organize and form unions on the job have pushed legislation to de-fund the board, to shut it down, to curtail its work.

Hedger, who has found another job, but one that pays only about one-third of what he was earning, says he has been able to get through the long fight to get his jobs back:

Because of my faith in God, the strength of my family and the relentless support of my Union.

But now, for Hedger and other workers caught up in the attack on the NLRB, their future is in the hands of the Senate.

Text NLRB to 235246 and ask the Senate to confirm the board nominations now. (Standard message and data rates may apply.)

You also may call your senators at 1-888-264-6154.

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