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Workers represented by the SEIU

Represented by the SEIU, Denver International Airport janitors went on strike for higher pay and better working conditions in Denver, Colorado on October 1, 2021. (Photo: Hyoung Chang/MediaNews Group/The Denver Post via Getty Images)

Big Business Lobby Taps Trump's 'Chief Union-Buster to Kneecap' Worker Rights

Following his tenure at the helm of the labor board, Philip Miscimarra joined a corporate law firm that represents 90% of Fortune 100 companies.

Julia Conley

The public interest organization Revolving Door Project on Thursday accused two big business groups of "kneecapping workers' rights" with the hiring of Philip Miscimarra, former chair of the National Labor Relations Board, to lead their campaign in favor of a Trump-era anti-union rule.

The U.S. Chamber of Commerce and the International Franchise Association (IFA) support the 2020 joint employer rule that was finalized by the NLRB in 2020 during Miscimarra's tenure.

According to the Service Employees International Union (SEIU), the rule limits how the NLRB can hold a company jointly liable for labor violations and compel companies to negotiate with unions—barring millions of subcontracted workers and people with multiple jobs from collective bargaining.

"Despite their best efforts, I think their yearslong campaign to dismantle workers rights is still going to end in defeat."

Since overseeing the introduction of the rule, Miscimarra has returned to his previous private-sector work as a corporate lawyer, working at a firm that represents 90% of Fortune 100 companies.

"Big business selecting Trump's chief union-buster for their fight to kneecap workers' rights is no surprise," said Jeff Hauser, executive director of the Revolving Door Project. "The Chamber of Commerce worked hand-in-hand with Phillip Misicimarra when he was on the National Labor Relations Board."

While leading the NLRB, Miscimarra did the bidding of the Chamber of Commerce, the largest lobbying group in the country, taking action on all 10 items on a wish list the group released. The board limited the rights of workers on strike in addition to gutting protections for "joint employment" workers with multiple employers.

In its lawsuit, the SEIU took particular issue with the rule's exclusion of "health and safety issues from the set of employment conditions a company must control to be found a joint employer," according to Reuters.

"The latter error is particularly egregious in the context of the global Covid-19 pandemic; it relieves companies that exercise direct control over health and safety conditions of any obligation to bargain over those conditions with the affected workers' exclusive representative," the union said in its complaint in September.

President Joe Biden's NLRB is widely expected to reverse the joint employer rule.

"Despite their best efforts," said Hauser of the Chamber of Commerce and IFA, "I think their yearslong campaign to dismantle workers rights is still going to end in defeat."

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