Despite calls to examine President Obama's job proposals nearly two weeks ago, House Education and the Workforce Committee Republican held a fourth hearing attacking the National Labor Relations Board, which enforces workers' labor rights.
"I just wish this House would put half as much effort into addressing America's top concern of jobs and the economy," said Rep. George Miller (D-CA), the senior Democrat of the committee. "This committee should be doing whatever it can to grow and strengthen our nation's middle class. Because we know that when working families are doing well, the country is strong. There is still time to get the committee back on track with the American people's agenda. But that time is running short."
In light of committee's inaction on President Obama's American Jobs Act, Miller announced an "eForum' inviting the American people to submit their stories about how the economic downturn has affected their lives in several areas. The eForum on jobs will initially run until Monday, October 3, and focus on gathering stories from the American people in the areas of education, construction and long-term unemployment. Selected stories will be published on the committee's website as the eForum progresses.
"With 14 million Americans looking for work, time is of the essence. In order to effectively evaluate the President's job proposal, Congress must gather facts from Americans who have first-hand experience with this economy," said Miller in a video announcing the e-forum.
Instead, the committee examined a handful of rulings and proposals recently made by the National Labor Relations Board restoring precedents and modernizing agency processes.
For instance, the NLRB recently issued a requirement that businesses post a free notice outlining the basic rights and responsibilities of both workers and employers under the National Labor Relations Act, which has drawn criticisms from Republicans and corporate interests.
"The president unveiled his jobs bill two weeks and it was introduced in Congress this week by Congressman Larson. Yet we're here talking about a poster," said Rep. Rob Andrews (D-NJ).
The notice make clear workers' rights to join, or not to join, a union; or to engage, or refrain from engaging, any union activities.
"I believe that complaints about this posting requirement reveal that criticism of the Board on this matter is a political attack rather than an objective view that the Board should not inform employees of their federally protected rights," said Arthur Martin, partner at Schuchat, Cook and Werner in St. Louis. "The notice posting will serve the very important and very necessary purpose of informing all parties in the workplace of conduct that may be inappropriate."