Speeches & Floor Statements

Opening Statement: Nomination of John F. Ring to be a Member of the National Labor Relations Board

Posted on March 1, 2018

  • The Senate committee on Health, Education, Labor and Pensions will now come to order.
  • This afternoon we are holding a hearing on the nomination of John Ring, to serve as a member of the National Labor Relations Board.
  • Senator Murray and I will each have an opening statement then I’ll introduce Mr. Ring. After his testimony, senators will each have five minutes of questions.

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  • Mr. Ring, you have been nominated to a position that is important to our nation’s workers and employers.
  • The National Labor Relations Board was created in 1935 by the National Labor Relations Act in response to strife between employees and employers in the industrial workplace.
  • The board has five members with five-year staggered terms, and a General Counsel with a four-year term.
  • Last year, this committee approved Marvin Kaplan and Bill Emanuel and Peter Robb as a General Counsel.

  • You have been nominated to fill the vacancy created in December, when Philip Miscimarra’s term ended.
  • Mr. Ring, you have varied experience: you worked for the International Brotherhood of Teamsters while attending college and law school, and have been a management lawyer with Morgan Lewis & Bockius since 1988. 
  • You earned your Bachelor’s and J.D. from Catholic University.
  • We received this nomination on January 18. The Committee received Mr. Ring’s HELP paperwork and Office of Government Ethics paperwork on January 24. Based on these documents, OGE determined that Mr. Ring “is in compliance with applicable laws and regulations governing conflicts of interest.”
  • I am looking forward to your testimony today.
  • Under the Obama Administration, the board too often acted as an advocate rather than neutral umpire.
  • The additions of Mr. Kaplan and Mr. Emanuel last year helped restore some balance to the labor board and to our nation’s workplaces.
  • First, the board overturned its micro unions decision, which disrupted workplaces and made it harder for employers to manage their workplace and do business.
  • For example, a local department store could splinter into dozens of factions that the employer would negotiate with – the men’s clothing department, the bedding department, the fragrance department, and the women’s shoe department, all represented by separate unions fighting over who gets the better raises and break rooms.
  • And second, the NLRB has requested comments on whether it should keep or modify the ambush elections rule –another rule that upended stability in labor law.
  • The rule means a union election can be forced in as little as 11 days, before an employer and many employees even have a chance to figure out what is going on.  It also forces employers to hand over a lot of employees’ personal information to unions.
  • I hope confirming you, Mr. Ring, will continue this trend of returning balance to our labor laws.

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