The Honorable Bernie Sanders, Chair
The Honorable Bill Cassidy, Ranking Member
Senate Committee on Health, Education, Labor and Pensions
428 Dirksen Senate Office Building
Washington, DC 20510
Re: Renomination of Gwynne Wilcox to serve as Member of the National Labor Relations Board
Dear Chairman Sanders, Ranking Member Cassidy, and Members of the Committee:
The undersigned organizations write to express our support for President Biden’s historic decision to renominate Gwynne Wilcox to serve as a Member of the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB).
Ms. Wilcox already made history with her previous Senate confirmation in July 2021 as the first Black woman to ever serve as an NLRB Member. Prior to her current service at the NLRB, she already possessed an outstanding track record as a respected labor law expert and coalition builder. We celebrate her renomination and urge you to confirm her to this important position.
The Members of the NLRB are critical to the implementation and enforcement of federal labor law and policy, and to upholding workers’ fundamental right to join together to improve their working conditions. Without a functioning Board, workers lose their fundamental right to join together to improve their working conditions. When workers come together to organize unions and engage in collective action and collective bargaining, they earn better wages, are more likely to have health insurance, and they pave the way for other workers to receive fair treatment on the job in the future. A well-functioning NLRB is critical to safeguarding this right.
Data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics and the National Labor Relations Board have shown increases in 2022 and 2023 in union election activity, unfair labor practice filings, and cases before the Board. This elevates the urgency of swiftly reconfirming Ms. Wilcox to another term on the Board without a lapse between the expiration of her current term and the new one, to ensure that the NLRB is efficiently able to continue hearing cases with more than the three Member minimum required for a quorum.
During her tenure so far at the NLRB, Ms. Wilcox has played a crucial role in improving efficiency and effectiveness in processing cases. She has also championed measures at the Board to improve language access and public outreach by the agency. As the Committee already knows, prior to her first nomination, Ms. Wilcox spent her career as a champion for worker rights, women’s rights, and civil rights under the law. As a partner at the law firm Levy Ratner, P.C. in New York, Ms. Wilcox has represented unions and individual employees for over 20 years. Ms. Wilcox also previously served as counsel for unions representing health care workers, fast food workers, and more, in addition to experience as a field attorney in Region 2 of the NLRB. Ms. Wilcox’s leadership skills have made her an effective and respected Board Member.
Ms. Wilcox is widely respected by her peers and is a frequent presenter on labor and employment law topics before the American Bar Association, the National Bar Association, state bar associations, and the National Academy of Arbitrators. In November 2021, she was presented with the Honorable Bernice B. Donald Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion in the Legal Profession Award by the ABA’s Labor and Employment Law Section.
For all of these reasons, we urge you to swiftly reconfirm Ms. Wilcox to serve at the NLRB. Thank you in advance for doing all you can to make Ms. Wilcox’s confirmation a top priority.
Communications Workers of America (CWA)
Economic Policy Institute
International Association of Machinists and Aerospace Workers
Jobs to Move America
Jobs With Justice
Maine Equal Justice
National Employment Law Project
National Employment Lawyers’ Association
National Immigration Law Center
National Institute for Workers’ Rights
National Organization for Women
National Women’s Law Center
Service Employees International Union (SEIU)
The Leadership Conference on Civil and Human Rights
United Food and Commercial Workers International Union
Workplace Justice Project at Loyola Law Clinic