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Public Statements

Preventing Greater Uncertainty in Labor-Management Relations Act

Floor Speech

By:
Date:
Location: Washington, DC

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Mr. BLUMENAUER. Mr. Speaker, it is disappointing that House Resolution 1120, the so-called ``Preventing Greater Uncertainty in Labor-Relations Act'' would actually create greater uncertainty for labor unions and businesses and wreak havoc on the middle class. I do not understand the interest in scapegoating America's unions for the economic problems that beset us. It was not America's grocery clerks, nurses, teachers, postal workers, or electricians that nearly caused the meltdown of the economy. America's working men and women didn't engineer poor loans, systematically cheat consumers, and transform financial institutions into giant casinos. However, there are some in this Chamber who seem convinced that getting rid of labor unions will advance their agenda.

This bill essentially shuts down the Labor Relations Board, by refusing to allow them to issue decisions, enforce existing decisions, or move forward with rulemaking. It means that labor and business issues that are currently unclear will remain unclear. It increases the chance of a strike, because without the National Labor Relations Board to help mediate, workers will be more likely to strike to protest unfair working conditions.

Let's remember that it's not just union members who benefit from America's unions. Our entire society benefits from their efforts. It was organized labor that spearheaded efforts for a 40 hour work week, brought safety to the workplace, fought for environmental protection, and championed pay equality for women. It is not just rhetoric that unions brought you the weekend. Unions are among the few strong voices who continue to stand up for a strong livable wage for our workers.

It's important to be thoughtful about the best way to navigate labor-business relations. I'm all for fine tuning the system, but I am adamantly opposed to gutting rights and protection of workers. We must start by acknowledging the debt we owe to unions and to stop this wholesale assault. I will vote no on H.R. 1120, and I will be disappointed if I am not joined by more of my colleagues.

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