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Ms. KAPTUR. I thank Congressmen Polis, a leader on these issues, for yielding me time.
I rise, Mr. Speaker, in opposition to the rule and the underlying bill, which would prevent the National Labor Relations Board from doing its job.
The NLRB is tasked with protecting employees' rights to organize by helping employees determine whether they want a union to represent their interests or not.
Nations with bargaining rights have middle classes; those that don't have bargaining rights don't have middle classes.
The NLRB also investigates charges of unfair labor practices from both employees and employers, facilitates settlements rather than expensive lengthy litigation, and enforces rules by administrative law judges that provide orderly procedures to prevent the disruption of the flow of commerce due to a labor dispute.
This bill before us is just another partisan ploy to undermine union workers and continues the Republican war against the middle class.
First we had the Ryan budget, which would put the burden of paying for two wars and tax cuts for the wealthy on the backs of seniors and our middle class families. Now we have a bill that would result in violations of worker rights going unpunished, union elections not being certified, and that would end recourse for workers who are wrongfully terminated.
Instead of letting the courts do their job, Republicans want to take a Big Government action by preempting any decision from a higher court.
This bill ignores the fact that Republicans in the Senate would not allow for a vote on any of the President's nominees, and said publicly that they just wanted to make the NLRB inoperative.
It is ironic that when President Obama follows the path as President Reagan and President Bush did, that of appointing individuals to carry out the work of our government, the Republican House proposes a bill to completely undermine an independent Federal agency.
Finally, studies show that the world's best performing economies and strongest middle classes have high union density and a high level of cooperation between labor and management. If Republicans care about creating jobs and strengthening our economy, then why are they considering a bill that would take away a forum for employers and unions to work out their differences?
Mr. Speaker, I urge my colleagues to join me in opposing this rule and the underlying bill.
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