Freedom Foundation

In Yet Another Act of “Unity”, President Biden Fires Max Nelsen

Not from the Freedom Foundation, mind you. The Freedom Foundation is quite proud of its Director of Labor Policy.

Since his appointment by President Trump in 2019, Max Nelsen served as a member of the Federal Service Impasses Panel (FSIP), a powerful labor relations board that resolves collective bargaining disputes between federal agencies and government unions.

In fact, the first decision of the FSIP under the Biden Administration — 145 pages in length — was written by Nelsen.

Members of the FSIP serve five-year terms but can be dismissed by the president at any time. While it is customary for new administrations to remove and replace the FSIP members appointed by the previous administration, Biden moved to do so quicker than any modern administration.

On Groundhog Day, President Biden demanded the resignations of those FSIP members who had not already resigned. The two members who didn’t submit resignations by the end of the day — including Nelsen — were terminated.

The move was cheered by federal employees’ unions and liberal columnists. An official for the largest such union — the American Federation of Government Employees — decried the Trump appointees as “a grotesque parade of horribles.” An official for the International Federation of Professional and Technical Engineers described Trump’s FSIP as “a ‘who’s who’ of union busters and anti-government ideologues.”

Given its “attacks on public sector unions in Washington state,” Nelsen’s affiliation with the Freedom Foundation was listed as a prominent example in a celebratory article by The Los Angeles Times’ business columnist.

In their statements to the press, union officials claimed to look forward to more “neutral” members being appointed by President Biden. A columnist for the far-left publication Slate went so far as to accuse Trump’s FSIP of “consistently [defying] the panel’s legal obligations to remain a neutral arbiter” — in fact, federal law authorizes the FSIP to “take whatever action is necessary” to resolve disputes — but quickly undermined his own incorrect argument by stating that President Biden’s future appointees to the FSIP would be “expected” to “protect federal unions.”

These firings and Biden’s unprecedented canning of the National Labor Relations Board’s general counsel Peter Robb are just the beginning of Biden making good on his promise to be “the most pro-union President you’ve ever seen.”

But because unions’ interests are decidedly not the same as workers, much less taxpayers, the work of the Freedom Foundation in holding government unions accountable will be increasingly important in the coming years.