WASHINGTON—The Senate has voted to confirm Peter Robb, a management-side lawyer who helped decertify the air-traffic
controllers union during its 1981 strike, as general counsel of the National Labor Relations Board. The 49-46 vote was on strict party lines. The general counsel decides which cases to bring to the NLRB for consideration, and Robb, Sen. Lamar Alexander (R-Tenn.) said in a statement, will help restore the board to “the role of a neutral umpire” after years of it “acting more like an advocate for organized labor” during the Obama administration. Robb has practiced since 1995 at the Vermont-based firm Downs Rachlin Martin, where he helped a nuclear-power plant thwart organizing by the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers. In 1981, he was the Reagan administration lawyer who litigated unfair-labor-practice charges against the Professional Air Traffic Controllers Organization, enabling Reagan to fire more than 11,000 air-traffic controllers and break the union. “Let’s be clear about how Mr. Robb has chosen to spend his professional life: Helping management close plants and cut jobs, suing unions, delaying workers’ rights to collectively bargain, and defending companies that violate workplace safety and fair pay laws,” said Sen. Gary Peters, D-Mich.