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Statement by AFL-CIO President Richard Trumka on ethical violations by NLRB member Terence Flynn

Labor organization calls on NRLB member to resign immediately

The report of the Inspector General of the National Labor Relations Board into allegations of improper conduct by NLRB member Terence Flynn confirms a pattern of ethical violations that are nothing less than shocking.  The report details numerous instances of then-chief counsel Flynn funneling confidential information about the labor board’s activities and deliberations, including attorney-client privileged information, to two former NLRB members who have been actively engaged in a relentless campaign to undermine and discredit the NLRB through legal and rhetorical challenges to the agency’s activities.    One of the former NLRB members who received confidential information – former Chairman Peter Schaumber – is co-chair of the labor policy advisory group for Mitt Romney’s presidential campaign.  The report makes clear that Schaumber used his inside connections through his former chief counsel Flynn to get internal, confidential information that he then utilized in ongoing public attacks on the actions of the NLRB. 

These unethical practices are unprecedented and indefensible.  NLRB member Flynn should resign immediately.  The Department of Justice should quickly investigate and bring criminal charges if violations are found.

Working people deserve to know that public officials who take an oath to honor the public trust will do so – and that is especially true for officials charged with protecting workers’ rights. 

These findings also will be a test for candidate Romney.  A key advisor has been found to have used his inside connections in a way that resulted in the violation of ethics rules.  Allowing Schaumber to remain as an advisor will speak volumes about candidate Romney and the value he places on ethics in government officials.  He should renounce these violations and dismiss Schaumber.