Toward the end of AFL-CIO boss Richard Trumka's long and bloviant keynote speech to AFL-CIO conventioneers, a familiar face was caught during one of the camera pans of the convention stage--that of controversial former National Labor Relations Board member Craig Becker.
In 2009, Barack Obama made history by nominating a little-known union lawyer named Craig Becker to the NLRB. It was a historic move because, while other union lawyers have been NLRB members--for example, Wilma Liebman was once a Teamster attorney--it was the first time one was nominated directly from the union movement.
At the time, Craig Becker was an associate general counsel to both the SEIU and the 56-union federation AFL-CIO and had numerous conflicts of interest that, in addition to his radically pro-union views, stopped the Senate from confirming his nomination.
When Barack Obama recess appointed Becker in 2010, despite his conflicts of interest, Becker--along with his pro-union cohorts at the NLRB--promptly set about ruling on cases and promulgating rules that have reshaped labor relations in the U.S.
It is not surprising that Becker was seated behind Trumka during the AFL-CIO boss' keynote address. In 2012, after leaving the NLRB, Becker resumed his role as a union lawyer for the AFL-CIO--this time as co-general counsel.
"Truth isn't mean. It's truth."
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