Republicans, on Wednesday, voted on a piece of legislation that would hinder workers’ rights to form a union.
The Election Prevention Act would deny American workers their right to a free and fair election to form a union. It passed the House of Representatives 235-188. The legislation would deny Americans their right to a free and fair election by mandating delays in union elections after petitions to explore union formation were filed, encouraging frivolous lawsuits designed to slow down the election process and stall votes on unionization, and manipulating the procedure for deciding who is in a bargaining unit.
“After more than 11 months in control, House Republicans have made it clear to the American people that they have absolutely no agenda to create jobs here in America,” Rep. Joe Baca, the lone Democrat representing San Bernardino County, said in a press release. “With over 13 percent unemployment and one of the highest rates of foreclosure in the nation, working families in San Bernardino County need our help. They deserve better than today’s legislation, which fundamentally undermines the rights of every American worker by manipulating the union election process to ensure the odds are always stacked in favor of the employer.”
However, Republicans have said the union election rules would hinder job creation. They have said that the National Labor Relations Board’s attempt to quicken union elections also was harmful to other employees’ decision making.
“The rogue majority of the NLRB wants to set conditions that stifle job creation and expansion,” Rep. Tim Walberg (R-Mich.) said. “Job creators are terrified of the NLRB’s actions to create an ambush-style election process that will prevent employees from making an informed decision.”
The NLRB wants to change the rule so employees can begin having an election 10 days after a petition is first filed. Republicans want to make it 35 days.
Democrats, though, said the union election rules had nothing to do with job creation. They also said spending time voting on the measure was taking time away from more important matters and legislation that would create jobs and help the economy.
“We’re using the precious floor time considering a bill that attacks the rights of all American workers and has no chance of becoming law,” Rep. Louise Slaughter (D-N.Y.) said. “That, unfortunately, is something we do week after week here.”
“Right now, Congress should be working to create jobs, strengthen small businesses and grow our economy,” Baca said. “But instead of focusing on the real problems facing our nation, Republicans are recklessly moving forward with legislation to deny the most basic rights that all working men and women deserve. This year, Americans have witnessed heinous attacks on the collective bargaining rights of American workers by Republican leaders all across the country.
“Sadly, with the passage of the Election Prevention Act, the Republican leadership in Washington is picking up this same line of attack. I will continue to stand with middle class families, and oppose all efforts to undermine the rights of the American worker.”
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