Mechanic challenges NLRB appointments

Michael P. Tremoglie Aug. 21, 2012, 1:16pm


COLUMBUS, Ohio (Legal Newsline - A mechanic on Friday filed a federal court challenge to President Barack Obama's recess appointments to the National Labor Relations Board.

Kyle Chilton of the Center City International Trucks filed his legal action with the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Ohio.

The case results from a previous legal battle over a petition he and his coworkers submitting seeking decertification of the International Association of Machinists union from his workplace.

A three-member NLRB panel dismissed Chilton's petition - two of whom were President Obama's three disputed recess appointments. This means that Chilton and his coworkers cannot submit another petition for at least three years.

According to court documents, Chilton states that the Region dismissed the petition "based on three sets of unfair labor practice charges filed by the IAM. He is making a couple of arguments as to why this ruling is invalid.

First, he maintains that "Notwithstanding that the Board has yet to pass on the validity of any of these unfair labor practice allegations, the Region concluded that this unproven misconduct wrongfully caused employees to seek decertification of the IAM and fatally tainted their decertification petition. This conclusion warrants reversal under Saint Gobain.""

The ruling by the NLRB in the Saint Gobain case states there should be a hearing if a petition to decertify a union is dismissed because of unfair labor practices.

National Right to Work Legal Defense Foundation staff attorneys, who are representing Chilton, also argue that the recess appointments are unconstitutional because the U.S. Senate was still in session per the body's rules - therefore they do not have a lawful quorum.

"Barack Obama's so-called recess appointments to the Labor Board clearly violate the U.S. Constitution," said Mark Mix, President of the National Right to Work Foundation. "Because the Board does not have a legitimate quorum, it must cease handing down rulings until a legitimate quorum is established."

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