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Union Lawyer Becker Re-Nominated by Obama to U.S. Labor Board

Craig Becker, a Democrat on the U.S. National Labor Relations Board who has been criticised by business groups for his ties to unions, was re-nominated by President Barack Obama to serve until 2014.

Becker, a lawyer who represented the AFL-CIO and Service Employees International Union, was appointed in March by Obama after the U.S. Senate failed to confirm his nomination. Republicans and some Democrats sought to block Becker after the U.S. Chamber of Commerce and other business groups objected to his academic writings proposing that unions get more power.

The appointment, made during a Senate recess, is set to expire this year and a fresh nomination was required. If confirmed, Becker would serve on the board, which handles disputes between unions and companies, until December 2014.

The Workforce Fairness Institute, a Washington-based group that opposes legislation making it easier for unions to sign up members in the workplace, said the Becker nomination conflicts with Obama’s promise to adopt an agenda that favors business.

“Less than 24 hours after delivering a State of the Union which largely focused on jobs and the economy,” the president “broke his word” by re-nominating Becker, Katie Gage, executive director of the group, said in an e-mailed statement. “Obama has sent the message to employers across the country that his rhetoric is just that.”

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