Oct 26, 2011

House Republicans Do it Again: Another Bill to Erode Workers' Rights

Guest post by UFCW Assistant Director of Communications, Politics and Advocacy, Tim Schlittner:

There they go again. A day after Congress’ approval rating hit an all-time low of 9 percent, House Republicans on the Education and the Workforce Committee passed yet another piece of legislation designed to erode workers’ fundamental right to organize.

It’s the latest attack on the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB)—the independent panel charged with overseeing unfair labor practices and union elections. Make no mistake—efforts to undermine and gut the NLRB is more than just the same old Republican attack on government. As the New York Times pointed out in an October 13 editorial, it has the danger of “unraveling workers’ rights that have been part of the fabric of our social contract since the Great Depression.”

This particular bill would make it harder for workers to form a union by mandating minimum delays before NLRB elections. This means more time for employers to coerce, harass, intimidate, and in some cases fire their employees. It also means more time for employers to file frivolous lawsuits intended to deny unionization through delay. House Education and the Workforce Committee Ranking Member George Miller (D-CA) dubbed it the “Election Prevention Act.”

Congress should be focusing on creating jobs and growing the economy, not creating hardship for workers and growing the profits of big business.

House Republicans should heed the call of the Occupy Wall Street protesters and spend their time and energy on job creation, not union bashing. Maybe then they can get their approval rating back into double digits.

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