In December, the National Labor Relations Board—the federal agency tasked with enforcing workers’ rights—voted to undo a high-profile Obama-era ruling that made it easier for fast food workers to unionize, and to hold accountable the enormous companies functioning as their employers.
But on Monday, the board reversed that decision, keeping the rule intact, after the agency’s inspector general, along with Sens. Elizabeth Warren and Patty Murray, repeatedly drew attention to the conflicts of interest of NLRB member William Emanuel—a longtime management-side labor lawyer appointed to the body by President Trump and confirmed in September 2017. NLRB reversals of its decisions due to a conflict of interest are extremely rare, suggesting the gravity of Emanuel’s conflict of interest.
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