Peter Robb: NLRB’s New General Counsel

Posted by Olivia Grady on Friday, November 17th, 2017 at 3:32 pm - Permalink

By Olivia Grady

The Senate voted on November 8, 2017, to confirm Peter Robb as General Counsel of the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB). The vote was 49 to 46.

Robb earned his bachelor’s degree in economics from Georgetown University and graduated with honors from the University of Maryland School of Law. His career started at the Maryland Office of Aging. He then became a field attorney in the NLRB for Region 5 and later a field attorney and supervising attorney for Region 3 of the Federal Labor Relations Authority. In April 1982, he became deputy chief counsel to NLRB Board Member Robert Hunter, and in November of the following year, chief counsel to Hunter. From 1985 to 1995, he was a member of the labor and employment group at Proskauer Rose Goetz & Mendelsohn. 

In 1995, he joined the law firm Downs Rachlin Martin PLLC as a Director. He chaired the Labor and Employment Practice Group from 2000 to 2009 and was deputy managing partner from 2009 to 2012. On September 15, 2017, President Donald Trump nominated him for General Counsel of the NLRB.

Robb is most well known, however, for litigating President Ronald Reagan’s firing of the Air Traffic Controllers Association members who were striking in 1981.

Interestingly, Robb’s tenure at the NLRB will mark a shift in policy from his predecessor Richard Griffin, who was a lawyer for the International Union of Operating Engineers before joining the NLRB. Griffin heavily favored the labor unions, while Robb will better support the workers.

As Robb said at his Senate confirmation hearing:

"I have always believed in the core values expressed in the [National Labor Relations] Act, which can be paraphrased as protecting the rights of employees to engage in union or other protected, concerted activity with respect to wages, hours and working conditions as well as the rights of employees to refrain from such activity. And once employees have freely chosen a labor organization to represent them, the act promotes collective bargaining. I believe these principles are the foundations of our successful economic system."

Americans for Tax Reform and the Center for Worker Freedom congratulate Peter Robb on his confirmation and look forward to more worker freedom at the NLRB.

Photo credit: Downs Rachlin Martin PLLC