Senator Saxby Chambliss and 10 Other Senators Urge President to Withdraw NLRB Pick

Georgia’s senior senator along with 10 GOP colleagues wrote a letter to President Obama concerning the nomination of Lafe Solomon as General Council of the National Labor Relations Board.  The senators expressed concern about Solomon’s comments on taking similar actions that the NLRB took against Boeing earlier this year.

You can read the full letter below the fold:

Dear President Obama:

We are writing to urge you to withdraw the nomination of Acting General Counsel of the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) Lafe Solomon.  We were alarmed to read Mr. Solomon’s comments published by the Associated Press on December 9, 2011.  Mr. Solomon threatened, “if we were ever faced with a similar pattern, we might well issue a complaint.”

This statement is a direct assault on business expansion in right-to-work states.  American employers should have the freedom to make private business decisions without the threat of a government-appointed official filing disparaging and costly litigation.  Especially during this economic climate, this sort of bullying by a federal official whom you have handpicked cannot be tolerated.  In light of Mr. Solomon’s recent actions and continued threats, your withdrawal of Mr. Solomon’s nomination as General Counsel to the NLRB would send a powerful signal that you will not allow intimidation and inappropriate interference by one of your nominees for a powerful post.

Instead of serving as an unbiased adjudicating body that protects the rights of employees and employers, the NLRB has demonstrated an unprecedented and unacceptable overreach of authority.  Mr. Solomon’s recent threat is further pressuring every employer to think twice about relocating within the U.S., while facing no retribution for moving outside the country.

This fear among American businesses to relocate and expand in the U.S. originated from Mr. Solomon’s complaint against Boeing filed on April 20, 2011.  Mr. Solomon claimed that Boeing’s decision to open a second production line for its 787 Dreamliner in South Carolina, a right-to-work state, was an act of retaliation against unionized workers at its first production line in the State of Washington.  However, the facts against this claim are unyielding: not one person in the State of Washington lost a job due to this business decision.  Rather, 2,000 additional people were hired for the first production line following the decision.  On December 9, 2011, the NLRB withdrew its complaint.  Clearly having learned nothing from the initial pursuit against Boeing, Mr. Solomon’s threat to repeat such a misguided NLRB complaint demonstrates a complete disregard for the law and common sense; thus, this request to withdraw Mr. Solomon’s nomination.

We seek a shared goal – to make America the best place to do business.  Unfortunately, we continue to hear from businesses that the economic climate, massive government debt, regulatory burdens, and overall government intervention in private business stifles job growth and creation.  It is critically important that we keep American businesses from moving abroad by fostering an economic winning atmosphere in the U.S.  Withdrawing Mr. Solomon’s nomination would be an important first step.


  1. Calypso says:

    From the above missive: “This statement is a direct assault on business expansion in right-to-work states. ”

    The problem is that Obama doesn’t see that as a negative, but rather one of the reasons he decided to choose Solomon. It’s one of the tally marks in the ‘Pro’ side of the ledger of Solomon’s evaluation by Obama. Don’t these legislators realize they are pissing up a rope with this request?

  2. ted in bed says:

    oooo….. a sternly written letter from Saxby. I’m sure that made an impact on Obama.

    The absence of serious action by Saxby on the NRLB is another example of his defense of big-government. Saxby thinks we are too stupid notice.

  3. benevolus says:

    Saxby seems to have been misinformed about the purpose of the NLRB.

    “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. ”

    Corporations use our money (consumers) to pay their lawyers and management and PR departments, but workers, without some sort of organized representation, have none of that. Our government fills that role because that’s what they do- they work for US, the people.

    • Harry says:

      “Corporations use our money (consumers) to pay their lawyers and management and PR departments, but workers, without some sort of organized representation, have none of that.”

      What are unions for?

          • benevolus says:

            Well if you think your employer is committing unfair labor practices, I guess you could go to them for that too. But aside from that, unless the company is breaking some law you just have to take what they give you.

              • benevolus says:

                Not sure of the problem you are seeking a “solution” to, but even the Heritage Foundation finds the US to be the 3rd best country in the world for “labor freedom”, and that is WITH the NLRB. I doubt we need to err more towards less worker rights.

                So many countries (such as Germany) have less “labor freedom” (for business) than we do and yet their economies are strong and their standard of living is high, and businesses thrive. Whatever problems our companies are experiencing aren’t due to organized labor.

  4. saltycracker says:

    Withdrawal letter by the opposition ?
    Political sabre rattling is akin to preaching to the choir.
    And a sign of weakness if it can’t be backed up.

    Saxby would better serve U.S. manufacturing interests like Boeing’s by sponsoring legislation. Like requiring the NLRB to allow more latitude to let workers /unions and companies work out their issues with their U.S. plants.

    Meanwhile he can round up the “nays” and filibuster.

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