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Statements on Introduced Bills and Joint Resolutions

Floor Speech

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Date:
Location: Washington, DC

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Mr. ISAKSON. Mr. President, today, I highlight yet another assault on private-sector employers by this administration and its appointees. Rather than empowering businesses to help bring us out of this economic downturn, the White House continues to tilt the scales in favor of its allies--the labor unions. Nowhere is this more evident than the recent actions of the National Labor Relations Board, NLRB.

For the past 77 years, the NLRB has recognized a bargaining unit as all the employees of the employer, a facility, a department, or a craft. A bargaining unit had to be a sufficient size to warrant separate group identification for the purposes of collective bargaining. This standard was developed through years of careful consideration and congressional guidance.

On August 26, 2011, the NLRB decided to recklessly disregard this longstanding precedent. In its ``Specialty Healthcare and Rehabilitation Center of Mobile'' decision, the NLRB decided that unions can now handpick a small group of employees doing the same job in the same location for organization purposes. For instance, cashiers at a grocery store could form one small union separate from the baggers, produce stockers, or deli butchers. Unions have found it much easier to organize three employees rather than 30. Employers, especially retail chains, fear that this could create several dozen unions all within the same store location--making it easier for unions to gain access to employees and nearly impossible to manage such fragmentation of the workforce.

Let me be clear: I do not oppose efforts by employees to unionize if they choose to do so. I do, however, oppose the government interfering in the principles of a democratic workplace and tipping the scales in favor of one party over the other.

I am proud to stand up today, along with 28 of my Republican colleagues, to introduce the Representation Fairness Restoration Act. This bill will reinstate the traditional standard for determining which employees will constitute appropriate bargaining units. The NLRB's actions are yet another clear example of how President Obama's appointees at this ``independent'' agency are clearly playing favorites at the expense of the American worker and our economy. We need to send a message to the administration that the NLRB's decisions are only adding to the pressure and uncertainty facing businesses today. This runaway agency must be reined in and I stand by private-sector employers by helping restore fairness to the workplace.

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