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Gould confirmed to the National Labor Relations Board

STANFORD -- Law Professor William B. Gould IV was confirmed by the U.S. Senate Wednesday, March 2, to the National Labor Relations Board. After a delay of nine months, Gould's nomination was confirmed by a vote of 58 to 38.

President Clinton intends to designate him as chairman of the board, the White House announced earlier.

Gould ascribed the "extraordinary and unwarranted delay" of his confirmation to "a determined campaign of cynical character assassination waged against me for these past nine months by right wing ideologues in the Republican Party and in some elements of the business community."

Gould, the Charles A. Beardsley Professor of Law since 1984, has been on the Stanford faculty since 1972. He plans to take a leave of absence from the Law School for the four and one-half years of his term.

Gould, 56, is the first black American and the first labor law scholar to head the 58-year-old National Labor Relations Board. The board consists of five members, and is responsible for conducting workplace elections to determine whether or not workers will be represented by labor organizations, and it determines which conduct by management and labor is unfair under the law. Gould has previous experience with the board; from 1963 to 1965, as a staff attorney, he drafted opinions for board members.

Gould said that he believes the board lost much of its credibility during the 1980s, and he would "endeavor to return the board to the center, to promote a balance between the parties . . . and, most important, to let workers, union officials and business people know that they will be treated with respect, civility and fairness."

The author of six books and more than 50 journal articles, Gould also has experience as an impartial arbitrator of labor-management disputes since 1965, and has represented management, labor and individual employees as a labor lawyer for 30 years.

He has served pro bono in a number of class actions against racial and national origin discrimination in hiring and promotion, and has represented the United Auto Workers union and individuals in a job bias suit against Detroit Edison.

Last year, Gould served on the Commission for the Future of Worker-Management Relations, a federal panel investigating methods to improve the productivity and global competitiveness of the American workplace. In 1990-91, he chaired a Task Force on Collective Bargaining for the mayor of San Francisco. He also chaired a California State Bar committee on wrongful dismissals in 1984, which recommended that the state adopt a comprehensive law to protect primarily non-unionized workers from wrongful discharge. He has been an observer of negotiations to end apartheid in South Africa and a frequent contributor to newspapers and magazines on labor law and politics in South Africa.



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