Trump Nominates Partner at Anti-Union Law Firm to Labor Board Seat

Mark Gruenberg

Mark Gruenberg Editor, Press Associates Union News

GOP President Donald Trump nominated John Ring, a partner with the Philadelphia-based law firm of Morgan Lewis and Bockius – named in a prior AFL-CIO report as a top-union buster – to the vacant fifth seat on the National Labor Relations Board.

If or when confirmed by the GOP-run U.S. Senate, Ring would give the board, which rules worker-boss relations in most U.S. private industry, a 3-2 Republican majority. It’s now tied 2-2.

Unions had no immediate comment on the Ring nomination.

But Ring, who heads the firm’s labor-management relations practice and who openly admits he represents management interests, drew praise from top corporate lobbies. The Chamber of Commerce said Ring’s confirmation would “open the door for the board to reconsider many other flawed rulings by the Obama NLRB.” 

A prior AFL-CIO report, cited by workers at Harvard University when they first tried to unionize more than 20 years ago, named Morgan Lewis as one of the top five “union avoidance” firms in the U.S., a fancy name for union-busters.

Whether it still holds that rank is unknown. The Trump administration yanked an Obama Labor Department rule that would have forced union-busters to disclose more of their spending, and in more detail, just as the 1959 Landrum-Griffin Act forces unions to account for virtually every penny.

Certainly, Ring’s bio shows his tilt. He “represents management interests in collective bargaining, employee benefits, litigation, counseling, and litigation avoidance strategies. He has an extensive background negotiating and administering collective bargaining agreements, most notably in the context of workforce restructuring” – a fancy term for firings – “and multiemployer bargaining.”

The Senate Labor Committee has yet to set a hearing date for Ring.

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Posted In: Allied Approaches

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