Trump Nominates Partner at Anti-Union Law Firm to Labor Board Seat

Mark Gruenberg

Mark Gruenberg Editor, Press Associates Union News

GOP President Donald Trump nominated John Ring, a partner with the Philadelphia-based law firm of Morgan Lewis and Bockius – named in a prior AFL-CIO report as a top-union buster – to the vacant fifth seat on the National Labor Relations Board.

If or when confirmed by the GOP-run U.S. Senate, Ring would give the board, which rules worker-boss relations in most U.S. private industry, a 3-2 Republican majority. It’s now tied 2-2.

Unions had no immediate comment on the Ring nomination.

But Ring, who heads the firm’s labor-management relations practice and who openly admits he represents management interests, drew praise from top corporate lobbies. The Chamber of Commerce said Ring’s confirmation would “open the door for the board to reconsider many other flawed rulings by the Obama NLRB.” 

A prior AFL-CIO report, cited by workers at Harvard University when they first tried to unionize more than 20 years ago, named Morgan Lewis as one of the top five “union avoidance” firms in the U.S., a fancy name for union-busters.

Whether it still holds that rank is unknown. The Trump administration yanked an Obama Labor Department rule that would have forced union-busters to disclose more of their spending, and in more detail, just as the 1959 Landrum-Griffin Act forces unions to account for virtually every penny.

Certainly, Ring’s bio shows his tilt. He “represents management interests in collective bargaining, employee benefits, litigation, counseling, and litigation avoidance strategies. He has an extensive background negotiating and administering collective bargaining agreements, most notably in the context of workforce restructuring” – a fancy term for firings – “and multiemployer bargaining.”

The Senate Labor Committee has yet to set a hearing date for Ring.

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Posted In: Allied Approaches

Union Matters

Get to Know AFL-CIO's Affiliates: National Association of Letter Carriers

From the AFL-CIO

Next up in our series that takes a deeper look at each of our affiliates is the National Association of Letter Carriers.

Name of Union: National Association of Letter Carriers (NALC)

Mission: To unite fraternally all city letter carriers employed by the U.S. Postal Service for their mutual benefit; to obtain and secure rights as employees of the USPS and to strive at all times to promote the safety and the welfare of every member; to strive for the constant improvement of the Postal Service; and for other purposes. NALC is a single-craft union and is the sole collective-bargaining agent for city letter carriers.

Current Leadership of Union: Fredric V. Rolando serves as president of NALC, after being sworn in as the union's 18th president in 2009. Rolando began his career as a letter carrier in 1978 in South Miami before moving to Sarasota in 1984. He was elected president of Branch 2148 in 1988 and served in that role until 1999. In the ensuing years, he worked in various roles for NALC before winning his election as a national officer in 2002, when he was elected director of city delivery. In 2006, he won election as executive vice president. Rolando was re-elected as NALC president in 2010, 2014 and 2018.

Brian Renfroe serves as executive vice president, Lew Drass as vice president, Nicole Rhine as secretary-treasurer, Paul Barner as assistant secretary-treasurer, Christopher Jackson as director of city delivery, Manuel L. Peralta Jr. as director of safety and health, Dan Toth as director of retired members, Stephanie Stewart as director of the Health Benefit Plan and James W. “Jim” Yates as director of life insurance.

Number of Members: 291,000 active and retired letter carriers.

Members Work As: City letter carriers.

Industries Represented: The United States Postal Service.

History: In 1794, the first letter carriers were appointed by Congress as the implementation of the new U.S. Constitution was being put into effect. By the time of the Civil War, free delivery of city mail was established and letter carriers successfully concluded a campaign for the eight-hour workday in 1888. The next year, letter carriers came together in Milwaukee and the National Association of Letter Carriers was formed.

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There is Dignity in All Work

There is Dignity in All Work