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Providing for Consideration of H.R. 304, Workforce Democracy and Fairness Act

Floor Speech

Location: Washington, DC


Mr. GENE GREEN of Texas. Mr. Speaker, I rise in opposition to H. Res. 470, the Rule providing for consideration of H.R. 3094, the Workforce Democracy and Fairness Act.

The misleadingly named Workforce Democracy and Fairness Act has one overriding goal--to frustrate workers' right to vote in a union election.

Seventy-six years ago, this body passed the National Labor Relations Act, which stated: ``It is declared to be the policy of the United States to ..... encourag[e] the practice and procedure of collective bargaining ..... for the purpose of negotiating the terms and conditions of [workers'] employment.''

The legislation being considered today would undermine the very intent of the NLRA by setting aside decades of labor jurisprudence set by the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) and our nation's courts, and replace it with new and untested processes that would cause uncertainty, delay elections, and prevent rather than encourage collective bargaining.

The Workforce Democracy and Fairness Act would do this by mandating a set of waiting periods and a full, pre-election hearing over any issue that is raised by a party.

For instance, no election would be allowed to occur no sooner than 35 days after the filing of a petition. However, there is no limit on how long an election may be delayed.

Delay gives unscrupulous employers more time to use any means, legal or illegal, to pressure employees into abandoning their organizing efforts.

Also found in this legislation are provisions that would encourage frivolous litigation for the purpose of slowing the election process and stalling any vote. This will create a massive backlog of cases on the taxpayer's dime.

This bill would also give employers the ability to gerrymander elections through the proposed legislation's one-size-fits-all test in defining who would be allowed to vote in an organizing election, thereby making a majority vote all the more difficult to achieve.

It is time for this Chamber to put aside its war on the American worker and his or her right to organize and collectively bargain.

I ask my colleagues on both sides of the aisle to stand up for working Americans and vote against this rule and the underlining legislation.


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