April 25, 2024


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This Lawyer was prolific in helping Reagan bust the Air Traffic Controllers Union such that Trump needs him to be on the NLRB

10 min read


There was a long history of battles between organized labor and the former U.S. president, Ronald Reagan, but his defining moment came when he created a bust in the Professional Air Traffic Controllers Organization (PATCO) and got 11,300 striking air traffic controllers dismissed. The authority of U.S. power unions was reduced and created an avenue for a thorough straightforward battle against organizing rights. Ronald Reagan’s top legal professional in the air traffic control has created an avenue where decisions will be made about the unjust labor practices in the nation.


President Donald Trump has predictably nominated Peter Robb of Downs Rachlin Martin in Vermont to be labor attorney on the side of the administration and perform as the National Labor Relations Board – NLRB’s general counsel. The position is held for four years and the person in charge is responsible for the evaluation of unjust labor practices. Richard Griffon’s term, the general counsel during Obama’s administration will expire this November and the position would be taken over by Robb after confirmation.


An unjust labor practice was filed by Robb in 1981 against PATCO in the interest of the Federal Labor Relation Authority (FLRA) after which the court decided that the strike action performed by the air traffic controllers was unlawful. The FLRA case prompted the de-certification of PATCO where the majority of the striking workers were banned from federal services throughout their entire life.


This move by Reagan created a reference point for employees and encouraged them to openly attack labor. A Georgetown history professor and author of Collision Course: Ronald Reagan, the Air Traffic Controllers, and the Strike that Changed America, Joseph McCartin explained the future effect in an interview with the Real News Network from 2014 that the air traffic controller was substituted by Reagan in 1981 while this is still strange for the employers in America in handling strikes by making an attempt to divide and permanently replace workers who performed any strike action and majority of employers in the private sectors followed suit since Reagan could do this without any repercussion..


Robb’s relationship with busting the union went beyond his milestone in the PATCO incident. The Dominion Nuclear Power Plant employed him in 2014 when workers were being organized by the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers (IBEW). An ad spot was found on the Downs Rachlin Martin website which boasted that a significant National Corporation was represented by Robb in the case proceeding involving the National Labor Relations Board in the hearing that lasted for 34 days over 3 months to determine 80 challenged categories that cover employees in their hundreds.


The IBEW Local 437 business manager, John Fernandez explained in an interview with Bloomberg BNA that “scorched earth” strategies were used by Robb’s representation to impede the effort of the organizers. Fernandez indicated that new workers were added by the plant to the proposed unit to limit the union vote and distributed video from managers who described the risk behind unionizing in employees’ homes. The plant eventually added about 150 workers to the initial petition and overcame the organizing drive.


Fernandez continued that most of the evaluation was handled by Robb and his witnesses had been well-educated ahead of time in which they all continued to rant at every question.



Fernandez complained to Bloomberg BNA that not being an attorney puts him at a disadvantage, however, the charges would have been too overwhelming for the locals and it was regarded as a union-busting but the case was very intense.


Robb likewise had other associations with the NLRB when he worked as a field attorney in Baltimore during the late 1970s. he came back to the agency in 1982 as the staff legal counsel and Robert Hunter’s chief counsel who was a former member. Hunter was a very significant partner as a republican to an anti-union member, Chairman Donald Dotson. Rep Barney Frank informed the Washington Post in 1985 that the most faithful supporter of Donald Dotson’s modifications to the NLRB into a primary anti-union association was Hunter.


Robb’s organization recently reprimanded the NLRB during the Obama administration, which was caught in a slideshow from Robb and Timothy Copeland Jr, the Downs Rachlin attorney. The presentation targeted a few of the pro-labor positions undertaken by the NLRB of the former administration.


The slideshow explained that the supervisory status of the NLRB is defined clearly by the NLRB [Democratic] majority which can sometimes oppose normal thinking. Another slide continued that the new Republican members can accept that the Obama board crossed the line. Robb also objected to a 2014 rule to reduce the number of days between filing a unionization petition and the vote to 11 days.


There were several attempts made by the GOP to increase the number of days to a minimum of 35 days. This will enable firms enough room to come up with a plan and trample on the activity of the union. Like the Dominion Nuclear Strategy mentioned earlier.


Robb and three other lawyers at Down Rachlin indicated in a 2015 advisory that it was obvious that the new regulation of the NLRB was to perform an instant election, which will definitely give the employer a very limited time to react to the petition of the union election.


The foundation for the emergence of a business-friendly NLRB has been quietly laid by the Trump administration. This truth was established in August when Alexander Acosta, the Labor Secretary declared that Ronald Reagan would be incorporated into the hall of fame of the department. All Trump’s previous NLRB candidates all have ties to union-busting and the anticipated nomination of Robb would successfully enable the NLRB to become an anti-union entity that will enforce the labor law.




Was the death of this Newark police caused by mismanaging insurance?


The widow of a retired cop who recently died indicated that the new prescription cards and insurance that was never made available for many weeks hindered his medications and led to his death, escalating the chaos that resulted from a change to a new medical care system in the city.

Christina Hoff, a lifetime Newarker informed NJ Advance Media that even though she was not God, he would still be alive if he was administering his medications and that the city ignored him and many others too.

Stephen Waddell, her husband was aged 56 when he died after serving the city for 25 years, initially as a City Hall janitor for 6 years, then as a cop for 19 years.


Jack Kelly, the business administrator ignored all requests to comment on Waddell’s death, but later responded by mail to the president of the police union informing them that Waddell actually applied for the state medical benefits plan that has coverage options that were similar to his previous plan.

Kelly wrote in his response that he was sorry about Waddell’s death that there would be no lapse in coverage even though there might have been incomplete or late applications. He said that he would ensure to personally inform the provider of the coverage, once the city is notified of any particular occurrence.

The president of the Newark Lodge 12, James Stewart, who has been in charge of filing the complaints since Aug 1 indicated that the city had been notified of Waddell’s condition immediately after he got the message.

Hoff pointed out that Waddell experienced another stroke in July and was getting better at a rehabilitation center, but was informed to leave in the early months of August since his previous insurance had expired.

Hoff claimed that they received nothing from both the city and the state concerning a change in health coverage because she has always been very concerned about his health care and if she had known his insurance had expired, she would have sent it back.

In a bid to save the lawmaker’s $13million, a new medical plan was transitioned by the city from its previous one on Aug 1. Many retirees claimed that they were not informed about the transition only to later discover that their medical care plan had expired and about 2,000 of these retirees were being transitioned into a new prescription and Medical plan.

The city claimed that the state was responsible for informing the people about the change.

Hoff indicated that she visited the City Hall once she knew of the changes and her husband was enrolled in the state medical benefit plan. But she claimed that his new prescription cards and medication never came and medications were not affordable for them.

Hoff pointed out that her husband’s medications were numerous since he was diabetic, had cholesterol and kidney issues.

Stewart explained about Hoff that they were never expecting the transitioning and they were confused about the next line of action which is the reason that this plan should have been integrated over one year.

Stephen Richman, the labor lawyer of the FOP stated that he had previously experienced circumstances of transitioning from one carrier to another, but not as sudden as this one which will, therefore, have severe impacts. Many retirees have been neglected and are either losing their insurance coverage or being overcharged ridiculously.

Since the effort by the city to refund former workers on excess co-pays have been closed by the state, Kelly started a new prescription plan for those who have retired. Retirees now have to pay as much as $600 under ExpressScripts, the new prescription provider in the state as opposed to the previous payment that was as low as $1.50 or $5.00.


Stewart stated that they had hoped that the city would understand the mess they had caused and start making headway in putting the thing in order, but the retirees are still facing the same issue as their condition has not changed.

Sharpe James, a former mayor also complained that he was denied treatment at the clinic on the 2nd of Aug stating that his insurance covered had expired when he tried getting medications for his back pain. James, however, has an incomplete application for the new state medical benefits plan and has no evidence of being qualified for Medicare.

An application must be filled and sent to Trenton by retirees to enroll into the new state medical benefits plan. Adequate evidence and documentation must be provided by those eligible for Medicare or extending to loved ones.

Additional help can be obtained by previous or current employees by http://www.lawyertoday.net

The city ‘s new intended prescription plan has left many retirees hanging.

Newark was informed by the state to alter its reimbursement program, but enables the city to register retirees into a different prescription plan.

Waddell lived all his life in Newark, he served twenty-five years as an  employee at Newark City, before losing his life last week. He left three children aged 19, 18 and 20 behind.

Waddell’s widow said that it was very difficult in his absence because he was her best friend, but she is trying to be strong for the children.


The DiCesare problem has made Stonington spend more than $260,000 so far.

The town of Stonington has incurred expenses and legal charges of over $210,000 concerning three complaints filed by the union in favor of Highway Supervisor Louis DiCesare II that was dismissed in addition to a fruitless battle that hindered him from becoming a member of the Town Hall administrators’ union.

Also, the Connecticut Interlocal Risk Management Agency responsible for ensuring the town has incurred expenses of $51,650 on the federal lawsuit of DiCesare II against the town which remains undecided.

The town’s expenses will continually increase if it could not reach a mutual agreement with DICesare as the second and third arbitration court hearing is still pending.

Over the last two years, 17 arbitration court hearings were concluded last month. The complaint focused on DICesare’s five-day suspension in January 2015 which he only spent $1,515.

The two parties are awaiting a decision in January 2019 after briefs have been filed by the legal counselors on both sides to the arbitrators after which the hearing on the second complaint can start in which DiCesare complained that he was hindered from joining the representative of the union on his suspension hearing and the third complaint deals with his dismissal. It is anticipated that the second and third grievances will be less tedious than the first due to the comprehensive information and deposition gathered.

The town issued the expenses on Wednesday that include both the legal fees, that involve DiCesare dating back from April 2015 which was after the day a Freedom of Information Act Request was filed for the town on the 3rd of August.

Rob Simmons, the First Selectman stated that on the recommendation of the town, he couldn’t comment since the town is currently in the middle of a legal process when inquiries were made about the expenses.

DiCesare was hindered from becoming a member of the Stonington Public Administrator Association, suspended and later dismissed under the former first Selectmen’s administration, George Coerce and Ed Haberek where the former is currently vying to be re-elected in November against Simmons.

The bills from the Town Ex- labor legal counsel, Michael Satti makes up most of the expenses and is currently the legal representative of the town.

The town clarified the work carried out by Satti’s invoices and it was repeated when the bills on the DiCesare issue was published in 2015 indicating that they were permitted by the state Freedom of information Act.

The federal lawsuit filed by DiCesare indicated that when he tried becoming a member during the summer of 2014, it became obvious to him that he was targeted and his job was no longer assured by Barbara McKell, the current Public Works Director. However, the town failed to hinder him from becoming a member of the union.

DiCesare was suspended by McKell for five days without remuneration because he told her she didn’t trust him, going against her orders and making mistakes that resulted in expenses of about $105,000 for the town.

He was later dismissed in April 2015.

McKell stated in her dismissal letter that his employment was terminated because of his defiance, low performance, absence of credibility, insufficient planning that came with severe consequences to the town due to his conduct.

But the dismissal was disputed by DiCesare, having worked for eleven and a half years in the town, first as a highway supervisor for five and a half years and claimed he had never for once during his employment undergone any disciplinary action.

He claimed that several retaliatory actions were taken against him from Mckell. He also stated that he raised safety issues to Crouse about how McKell handled the removal of snow and ice and indicated that several valuable soils were being hauled from the Fields project by the highway department’s truck to the Westerly home of a relative of the town’s employee.

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