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Public Statements

Workforce Democracy and Fairness Act

Floor Speech

By:
Date:
Location: Washington, DC

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Ms. LINDA T. SÁNCHEZ of California. Mr. Chair, I rise today in opposition to H.R. 3094, the Republican plan to crush workers' rights and destroy any glimmer of hope our working families have at economic recovery. The Republicans designed this bill to destroy 75 years of National Labor Review Board case law in their attempt to dismantle the middle class.

Collective bargaining and the right to organize helped build a strong American middle class. It doesn't cost the federal government one dime in real money. Instead of taking steps to create jobs and strengthen working families, Republicans are dismantling key worker protections. All workers should have the ability to negotiate with their employer about salary and benefits, whether they're in a union or not. Organized labor is great for business. Thousands of companies across the country thrive with a unionized workforce.

Those businesses recognize that their employees deserve to have a safe workplace and fair wages and benefits. That's just good business. This bill encourages corporations to stall NLRB elections while they mount a one-sided, anti-union campaign. At its core, this is an undemocratic bill that undermines our values.

We have a long established process for workers to attempt to form a union and collectively bargain with employers. Employers and employees should stay on equal ground in the process. There is no need to deny workers their right to a free and fair union election.

Many of my Republican friends like to talk about the issue of Tort Reform. They like to tell us that we have to prevent frivolous lawsuits--they cost taxpayers millions and millions of dollars and they drag down the economy.

I have news for my Republican friends: the Election Prevention Act encourages frivolous litigation. This bill will mean mountains of litigation before union elections can be held. The result is a massive backlog. Guess who picks up the tab? The American taxpayer!

We have important issues facing our country and it boggles my mind that we are taking up yet another bill that does nothing to get our friends and neighbors back to work. We need to focus on lowering the unemployment rate and creating jobs--not taking away the rights of hardworking Americans.

I urge my colleagues to recognize this veiled attempt to destroy the rights of American working families.

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