Trump takes steps to undo Obama legacy on labor

After he fills two vacant seats that would swing the National Labor Relations Board from Democratic to Republican control, President Donald Trump will be able to reverse some key Obama-era decisions favoring union and non-unionized workers.

 President Donald Trump, who came into office courting labor unions and vowing to stand up for U.S. workers, is taking a major step to alter the direction of federal labor policy, positioning the National Labor Relations Board to overturn a series of high-profile Obama-era decisions.

The moves come on the heels of Trump’s proposed deep cuts to the Labor Department and job-training programs across the federal government. And just last week, the administration disclosed that it opposes the NLRB’s position on whether employers can require employees to waive their rights to bring class-action cases, on which the Supreme Court will hear arguments this year.

Now, by filling two vacant seats and swinging the board from Democratic to Republican control, Trump could reverse these actions:

• A ruling that increased the likelihood companies could be held responsible for labor violations committed by contractors and franchisees.

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• A ruling that made it easier for relatively small groups of workers within a company to form a union.

• A ruling that granted graduate students at private universities a federally protected right to unionize.

• Rules enacted by the Obama-era board allowing union elections to proceed on a faster timetable. Many business groups refer to the new approach as “ambush” rules, complaining that employers no longer have sufficient time to make the case to workers against unionizing.

Last Monday, the White House announced the nomination of Marvin Kaplan, a lawyer serving on a federal health and safety commission, to one of two vacant seats on the board, which currently has a 2-1 Democratic majority. A…

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