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Providing for Consideration of H.R. 3094, Workforce Democracy and Fairness Act

Floor Speech

By:
Date:
Location: Washington, DC

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Mr. LYNCH. I thank the gentleman for yielding.

Mr. Speaker, I rise in strong opposition to this rule and to the underlying bill, H.R. 3094, the so-called Workforce Democracy and Fairness Act.

Since the start of the 112th Congress, a certain faction guiding the Republican majority has undertaken what amounts to a full-scale attack on America's working families and America's working class and against the bedrock principles that have helped create America's middle class.

This latest effort is more of the same. The so-called Workforce Democracy and Fairness Act is another piece of legislation that weakens the rights and protections that workers have fought long and hard to obtain.

Section 9(b) of the National Labor Relations Act gives employees the right to organize in ``an appropriate unit,'' giving them choice on how best to bargain with their employer. And that's all this is about. When an employee group organizes, all it requires is that they sit down across from their employees and bargain, talk to them about terms and conditions of employment and benefits.

What this bill would do is establish a one-size-fits-all approach to organizing, forcing together employees who have very little in common and making it much more difficult to organize. That's gerrymandering, basically, to protect employer interests, plain and simple.

But this bill doesn't stop at changing existing rules, however. This bill would overturn proposed rules that have not even been finalized by the National Labor Relations Board. The NLRB has proposed practical rules modernizing and streamlining the union election process. The proposed rules are a genuine improvement over the existing procedures and are designed to encourage the use of technology, discourage unnecessary litigation, and save taxpayer dollars.

Look, I was an ironworker for 18 years, a union ironworker. I am very proud of that fact. I was the union president. I also was involved in very many union organizing drives, not only for my own union but for the carpenters, stage hands, and wardrobe workers. And the National Labor Relations Act is actually set up to reduce the likelihood of unrest, of workforce disputes. It's really to help business and workers reduce that economic conflict. This bill will have the opposite effect. This bill will actually increase the likelihood of labor disputes.

And we have seen in this country a great disparity between the haves and the have-nots. This is going to make matters worse. Instead of putting people to work, this is going to cause strife and reduce the efficiency and productivity of America's workers. This is shameful.

All these union workers, this is the middle class in America. You are destroying the middle class in America. You are increasing that disparity between the haves and the have-nots. We've got to do better than this. The American people deserve it.

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