By Pete Kasperowicz
Sen. Marco Rubio (R-Fla.), seen as a possible vice presidential candidate for GOP presidential front-runner Mitt Romney, proposed legislation on Thursday that would amend rules issued by the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) that put limits on merit pay for union members.
"It is a sad day in America when no matter how hard an employee works, he or she is blocked from higher earning potential," Rubio said. "This bill fixes this arbitrary ceiling placed on these workers and allows the free market to function as it is supposed to.
"These kind of actions by the NLRB are the very root of the larger issue at hand: a board of unelected government bureaucrats dictating to businesses what employees are worth."
Rubio and other Republicans have pointed out that under NLRB rules, union members with locked-in pay agreements cannot receive individual bonuses and raises, since these individual increases amount to "direct dealing," and cannot be handed out because they have not been negotiated by the unions.
Rubio's Rewarding Achievement and Incentivizing Successful Employees (RAISE) Act, S. 2371, is the companion legislation to a House bill introduced this week by Rep. Todd Rokita (R-Ind.) and two dozen other House Republicans.
Sens. Jim DeMint (R-S.C.), Mike Lee (R-Utah) and David Vitter (R-La.) are sponsors of Rubio's bill.