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US labor board under fire in latest union-Republican clash

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The House vote is the latest of several attempts to defang the NLRB in the eight months since the board's general counsel, Lafe Solomon, filed suit against Boeing Co., alleging the aviation giant opted to locate part of its Dreamliner assembly line in South Carolina, a right-to-work state, in retaliation against unions for a series of strikes.

The House had already voted to curtail the NLRB's purview, with Republicans railing that the board's actions are hamstringing the economy. Another bill, the National Labor Relations Board Reorganization Act of 2011, would reorganize the agency into extinction by handing its authority to the Justice Department.

More immediately, the board faces a de facto shutdown by year's end. Brian Hayes, the Republican appointee, is threatening to resign, there's little hope new appointees will be get cleared before one member's term expires Dec. 31. (If the NLRB has fewer than three board members, it cannot conduct official business.)

Republican opposition to the NLRB “isn't some tinkering … it's about ending this agency,” Rep. George Miller (D) of California warned board supporters Wednesday at a Washington forum hosted by the AFL-CIO.

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