The U.S. Senate confirmed John F. Ring, President Trump’s nominee as chairman of the National Labor Relations Board, on a straight party-line vote of 50-48.
Ring replaces the previous Republican Chairman Marvin Kaplan, who will continue to serve as a member of the board.
Ring, who also is a Republican, took his seat on the board after four months of NLRB deadlock and in the midst of controversy.
Since an earlier Republican chairman left last December, the board had been divided evenly 2-2 between Democrats and Republicans. Because the departing chairman had been a Republican, too, for a brief time the 3-2 GOP majority was able to start rolling back extreme pro-labor policies adopted by the board during the Obama Administration.
NLRB member William J. Emanuel was accused of a conflict of interest after he voted with the Republicans majority in December to reverse the Obama board’s joint employer decision, a vote that was then vacated, leaving the earlier policy intact. (AA, 3-15-18, P. 4).
Ring is an attorney whose practice at the law firm at Morgan, Lewis & Bockius LLP has involved representing employers in labor law matters, sometimes before the NLRB.
It is believed that Ring may face similar accusations of conflict of interest in cases involving former clients of his law firm. Because of this, the National Right to Work Committee reportedly asked Trump to pick a different candidate.
Ring also has was an attorney for the New York State Teamsters Conference Pension and Retirement Fund and served as counsel to the National Master Freight Agreement.