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Preventing Greater Uncertainty in Labor-Management Relations Act

Floor Speech

Location: Washington, DC


Mr. COURTNEY. Mr. Speaker, there is a basic principle of Anglo-American common law that reaches back to antiquity that goes as follows:

Without a remedy, there is no right. Ubi jus, ibi remedium.

That is the common-law doctrine which was the cornerstone of the National Labor Relations Act, which recognized that workers' rights only exist when there is a place to go to enforce fair elections, unlawful terminations, and retaliation cases. In fact, it is that legal doctrine which formed the basis of the Supreme Court's decision of Marbury v. Madison, which basically established the legal authority of the U.S. Supreme Court.

This law shamefully tramples on that decision and strips the National Labor Relations Act of its power, and you have to only look at line 10 of the bill which states very clearly:

The Board shall not implement, administer, or enforce any decision, rule, or vote on or after January 4, 2012.

This is a shameful day for this House. The rights of workers to collectively bargain were not only recognized by the National Labor Relations Act; they were recognized by the Vatican in the 1890s by Pope Leo XIII. They were recognized by the United Nations Human Rights Charter after World War II as a basic criterion of civilized society.

Today, when this law passes, America will go on record basically saying that workers who are seeking to have elections to form unions, to have workers who try to protest unlawful terminations, to workers who are trying to protest unlawful retaliation, you have no place to go. You are living in an undeveloped country right now in terms of your legal rights.

Shame on this House for bringing up a measure like this which strips the rights of people which common-law doctrine, reaching back beyond the birth of this Nation, has recognized for centuries.


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