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Public Statements

Workforce Democracy and Fairness Act

Floor Speech

Location: Washington, DC

Mr. HOLT. Mr. Chair, I rise in strong opposition to the Election Prevention Act, H.R. 3094. As a member of the House Committee on Education and Workforce, I voted against this fundamentally flawed bill when we considered it and I will oppose it again today.

The majority deceptively named this bill the Workplace Democracy and Fairness Act, which should tell us all that this bill has nothing to do with workplace democracy or fairness. If they wanted to deal with those issues they would bring to the floor the Employee Free Choice Act, which I have long been a cosponsor of.

Today again the Majority is showing the American public that the Majority don't think we have a jobs crisis in America, and that getting Americans back to work is not their top priority.

Getting the American economy back on track and helping to create jobs is my first, second and third priority. Unlike the Majority, I remain committed to creating jobs immediately and expanding educational opportunity for all Americans. Unfortunately, my amendment to help keep almost 400,000 teachers in the classroom was rejected on procedural grounds.
Rather than bringing to the floor legislation to help create jobs, we are wasting the time of this House attempting to undermine workers rights.
The Election Prevention Act continues an assault on the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) and the work it does to uphold the rights of workers across our county. This bill will NOT help create a single job. Rather, the bill would allow employers to delay union organizing elections in the hopes of discouraging workers from organizing, encourage frivolous litigation and manipulate the procedures of union elections.

The NLRB has proposed real changes to restore fairness to the union election process and reduce unnecessary delays. For example the proposed rules would allow the electronic filing of petitions, ensure that all parties receive timely information about pending matters, and allow for the consolidation of all appeals into a single post-election appeals process. These are sensible changes. Yet, the Election Prevention Act would override these proposed rules, and make arbitrary delays commonplace.

This bill is one more solution in search of a problem. The problem is jobs; the solution is Congress taking bold steps to get Americans back to work. At a town hall I recently held, no one asked me about the NLRB, they asked me about jobs and economic growth.

We should be mindful of why Congress approved the National Labor Relations Act (NLRA) and established the NLRB in 1935. Senator Robert Wagner who wrote the NLRA reminded his colleagues that in 1935 ``in the highest income bracket, one-tenth of 1 percent of the families in the United States were earning as much as the 42 percent at the bottom.'' Today's economic conditions are remarkably similar.

Yet, instead of helping workers organize and bargain collectively to help raise wages, improve workplace safety and ensure a comfortable retirement, the Election Prevention Act ignores the economic crisis facing American workers and makes the American Dream even harder to achieve.

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