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Protecting Jobs from Government Interference Act

Floor Speech

By:
Date:
Location: Washington, DC

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Ms. HIRONO. I rise in strong opposition to H.R. 2587.

In Hawaii, we believe in fairness and respect. We believe that working men and women should be able to come to the table, have a voice in their workplaces, be able to negotiate for fair wages and benefits. This belief helped build the middle class in Hawaii and across our country.

Right now, what working men and women need most are champions in their corner, champions who are fighting for real jobs. Instead, this bill takes aim at our working families. It's another direct assault on them and on workers' rights.

Let's face it. Companies today can move their business operations for any business reason at all except for an illegal one. Today, retaliating against workers who want to organize and join a union is illegal. This bill changes that. It says companies can go ahead. You can move your jobs to other States or even to other countries to punish your workers who want to organize and have a voice. This would have a chilling effect on any attempt by workers to ask for a seat at the bargaining table. Workers have already taken big hits in their paychecks and in their retirements over the years.

We should not make it easier for businesses to game the system. I urge my colleagues to fight against this bill and to stand with the working men and women of this country.

Aloha.

Mr. KLINE. Mr. Speaker, I yield 2 minutes to the gentleman from Virginia (Mr. Goodlatte).

Mr. GOODLATTE. I thank Chairman Kline for yielding me this time and for his leadership in moving this legislation to the floor. I thank Congressman Scott of South Carolina for his leadership in introducing this legislation, and I thank all those who join with me in supporting what I think is an important job-creating bill for this country.

It's important not just in right-to-work States, like South Carolina or Virginia; but it's important in States that don't have protection of workers under right-to-work laws, like Washington State, because businesses both in this country and overseas that are looking to invest are not going to look in places where they can be subsequently restrained from being able to expand their business--and that's what is happening here. They're expanding their business to another State if they locate in a place where that can happen to them.

They are also not going to locate in right-to-work States. No. When they need to expand, they're not going to have any statement about what their intentions are or why they're doing it, as is the case with most companies. They're simply going to locate in China or Taiwan or Thailand or India or in 100 other countries around the world that are very friendly and welcoming to employers who want to grow and expand businesses. Unless the United States changes this law and restrains the National Labor Relations Board from making these kinds of decisions, we're going to suffer greatly in job loss.

So this is a great job-creating bill. I encourage my colleagues to support the Protecting Jobs from Government Interference Act that amends the NLRA to prohibit the NLRB in future and pending cases from ordering an employer to close, relocate, or transfer employment under any circumstances.

This is an important measure. This will not just save 1,000 jobs in South Carolina. This will save hundreds of thousands of jobs across this country. It will ensure that employers have greater freedom to make one of the most basic management decisions: where to locate a business.

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Ms. HIRONO. Mr. Speaker, I rise today in strong opposition to H.R. 2587. In Hawaii, we believe in fairness and respect. We believe that working men and women should be able to come together to have a voice in their workplace, to be able to negotiate fair wages and benefits. This belief helped build the middle class in Hawaii and across the nation.

Right now what working men and women most need are champions in their corner: champions who are fighting for jobs. Instead, this bill aims its fire at our working families. It's another direct assault on workers' rights.

Because companies today can move their business operations for any business reason at all, except an illegal one. Retaliating against workers who want to join a union is illegal. This bill changes that.

It says companies can go ahead and move jobs to other states or even other countries to punish their workers. This would have a chilling effect on any attempt by workers to ask for a seat at the bargaining table. And that's just wrong.

Working men and women have already taken a big hit in their paychecks and retirements over the last few years. We shouldn't be making it easier for businesses to game the system.

I urge my colleagues to stand with working men and women to fight this bill and end these attacks on workers' rights.

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