Only Democrats are left on labor relations board

J. Scott Applewhite/AP file photo

This Sunday marked the expiration of Republican attorney Brian Hayes’ stormy two-year tenure on the National Labor Relations Board. That leaves the board with three members, all Democrats, but enough for a quorum, NLRB spokeswoman Nancy Cleland said.

In 2011, Hayes had threatened to resign and bring the board down to two, which would have denied the board a quorum before a key decision on accelerating union elections, though Hayes said he pondered the move for personal reasons and didn’t carry it out.

The board has been contentious throughout President Obama’s tenure, particularly after it took a union’s side in an unfair labor practices case against Boeing after the company announced plans to move one of its operations from Washington state to South Carolina.

Last January, Obama further angered Republicans by making recess appointments to the board some considered illegal. In May, Republican board member Terence Flynn resigned after improper communication of board documents to an outsider affiliated with the Mitt Romney presidential campaign.

Finally, on Dec. 13, majority Republicans on the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee released a scathing report reviewing the bidding on, as the title has it, “the NLRB’s Metamorphosis from Independent Regulator to Dysfunctional Union Advocate.”

The tenure of all three remaining board members expires in 2013, so the once-sleepy agency might continue making news next year.

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