President Biden Moves To Advance Worker Rights In Workplace

Published: January 21, 2021

President Joe Biden made good on a promise to support workers and the labor movement on his first day when he fired National Labor Board General Counsel Pete Robb within 24 hours of taking office.

Robb, a former union buster with a virulently anti-union record, refused Biden’s request to resign on inauguration day. No president had previously fired an NLRB counsel, though one anti-union counsel resigned at the request of President Harry Truman in 1950.

The position of NLRB General Counsel wields significant power in the field of labor power because it is the General Counsel who decides which cases to prosecute while administering how to follow the law when cases are argued.

Robb had spent the past few years advancing numerous employer-friendly arguments and interpretations of the National Labor Relations Act. He made it a priority to allow employers to unilaterally modify contract terms and narrowed the scope in which union stewards and representatives could operate at the worksite. He also helped shape employer-friendly NLRB decisions that resulted in what some call a “slap on the wrist” when employers violate the law.