McConnell: It Falls to the Senate to Protect Workers' Rights
We will not allow the progress already made on behalf of U.S. workers to be undone, nor will we allow coercion by employers or unions
U.S. Senate Republican Leader Mitch McConnell released the following statement Thursday regarding House passage of H.R. 800 which takes away the rights of workers to have a federally supervised private ballot election when deciding whether to organize a union:
"The right of all Americans to cast their vote by private ballot is deeply rooted in the democratic tradition of our nation. Today, House Democrats moved to destroy this principle and it now falls to the U.S. Senate to ensure this basic right is protected.
"In 2001, a group of Democrat lawmakers wrote on behalf of Mexican workers that the secret ballot is absolutely necessary in order to ensure that workers are not intimidated into voting for a union they might not otherwise choose.' I agree with their sentiment and that of nearly 90 percent of Americans who want to protect the rights of employees to vote by private ballot.
"We will not allow the progress already made on behalf of U.S. workers to be undone, nor will we allow coercion by employers or unions. We began this session with our workers in mind by coupling an increase in the minimum wage with small business tax relief. Let's continue our efforts to safeguard the rights of America's workforce and stop this attempt to strip away workers' rights."
HR 800 amends federal law by removing the requirement for a federally supervised private ballot when workers are deciding whether or not to organize a union.
In a 2001 letter, several U.S. Representatives called for labor rights protection for Mexican workers. "We understand that the secret ballot is provided for, but not required, by Mexican labor law. However, we feel that the secret ballot is absolutely necessary in order to ensure that workers are not intimidated into voting for a union they might not otherwise choose." (Congressman George Miller et al, Letter to the Junta Local de Conciliacion y Arbitraje of the State of Puebla, August 29, 2001)