WASHINGTON, D.C. | May 26, 2011
Today, the Subcommittee on Health, Employment, Labor, and Pensions, chaired by Rep.Phil Roe, M.D.(R-TN) held a hearing on the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) and corporate campaigns.
During the hearing, members discussed recent NLRB actions to expand the use of corporate campaigns, as well as the potential impact of the NLRB's recent complaint against The Boeing Company on the nation's workforce. The use of corporate campaigns can have a chilling effect on job creators, as well as threaten the livelihood of workers.
During his opening remarks, Rep. Roe emphasized the urgent need to oversee actions taken by the board. "We must remember the board does not operate in a vacuum,” Rep. Roe said. “It is an arm of the federal government, and its decisions govern virtually every private workplace in the nation. That is tremendous power that comes with a great responsibility to act on behalf of the public good. I am concerned the board has jettisoned this responsibility over the last two years in favor of an activist agenda designed to advance the cause of Big Labor over the rights of every day workers."
House Education and the Workforce Chairman John Kline also commented on the need for increased scrutiny of the NLRB’s actions, stating,“In this administration, I think we have an outrageous overreach of the board and I am doing what I can do to provide oversight to that board. It is very powerful. It is powerful beyond what we imagined it could be, and we need to exercise checks and balances."
The Chairman continued,"More to the point raised earlier, this Committee is authorized – indeed obligated – to conduct oversight of the agencies and entities within its purview and the actions those agencies and entities take. And, that is an obligation that we take seriously."
Watch Chairman Kline’s remarks below…
Some leaders in Washington question the need for Congressional oversight of the NLRB, preferring to allow an activist board to proceed unchecked. However, when asked directly by Rep. Roe whether the committee has a responsibility to monitor the NLRB’s actions, witness Jonathan Fritts answered affirmatively.
In closing his remarks, Rep. Roe noted, "The committee has pledged to make job creation and American competitiveness its leading priorities. We have a job to do and that includes overseeing the various boards, agencies, and departments within our jurisdiction to ensure they do not undermine the strength of our workforce."
To read testimony and view other documents and video from today’s hearing, visit www.edworkforce.house.gov/hearings.