January 13, 2018 / 1:04 AM / 5 months ago

Trump names lawyer at firm advising him as pick for labor board

(This January 12 story corrects to make clear in paragraphs 5-7 that some of the reversals have already occurred)

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - President Donald Trump plans to nominate as his choice to fill a vacant seat on the National Labor Relations Board a labor lawyer and partner at a law firm that has advised him and the Trump Organization on taxes since 2005.

The White House said on Friday that John Ring, a partner at Morgan Lewis and Bockius, would succeed Phil Miscimarra, another Republican whose term ended on Dec. 16 and who served as the NLRB’s chairman.

Ring’s appointment, which is subject to Senate confirmation, would restore a Republican majority at the five-member board, which now has two Democrats and two Republicans.

The NLRB oversees union elections and disputes between private-sector employers, workers and unions.

Under Trump, lawyers and business groups had expected the board to roll back a series of decisions and policy changes adopted during the administration of former Democratic President Barack Obama.

The NLRB gained a Republican majority in late September after Trump’s nominees to prior open seats on the board were confirmed and started issuing a spate of reversals in December.

In the week leading up to the end of Miscimarra’s term, the board overruled five decisions that were widely seen by companies and trade groups as favoring unions, involving issues such as when companies are liable for legal violations by contractors, staffing agencies and franchisees; the validity of workplace rules; and whether proposed bargaining units are appropriate.

Ring leads the Labor & Employment Practice Group at Morgan Lewis’ Washington office, the White House said in a statement.

If confirmed, he would begin a five-year term dating from Dec. 17, 2017, it said.

According to the firm’s website, Ring “represents management interests in collective bargaining, employee benefits, litigation, counseling, and litigation avoidance strategies.”

Last year, Morgan Lewis wrote a letter released by the White House that said a review of the previous 10 years of Trump’s tax returns did not reflect ties to Russia “with a few exceptions.”

Reporting by Eric Walsh; Editing by Peter Cooney

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