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Witnesses Back Legislation to Protect Workers and Employers from Activist NLRB
Former Clinton NLRB Appointee Supports Workforce Democracy and Fairness Act

The House Committee on Education and the Workforce, chaired by Rep. John Kline (R-MN), today held a hearing to examine H.R. 3094, the Workforce Democracy and Fairness Act. This important legislation rolls back recent actions by the National Labor Relations Board that undermine the rights of workers and employers.

“We are here today for one simple reason: the National Labor Relations Board is wreaking havoc on the nation’s workforce and it must be stopped. The NLRB has taken a number of steps that move federal labor policy in a radically new direction,” said Chairman Kline. “These policies are dramatically increasing the pressure and uncertainty facing business owners, making it more difficult to create jobs and plan for the future. The Workforce Democracy and Fairness Act will require the NLRB to change course and reaffirm key protections workers and employers have received for decades.”

Charles Cohen, a former member of the board appointed by President Clinton, voiced his support for the legislation, stating it will “restrict this NLRB – or any future NLRB – from attempting to violate the mandates of the [National Labor Relations Act] and circumvent Congress with regard to election procedures."

Throughout the hearing, witness testimony confirmed the Workforce Democracy and Fairness Act will:

Protect Workers

“We support the Workforce Democracy and Fairness Act as a means by which Congress can protect the rights of all employees in a workplace to vote on unionization and the right to information from all sides before being forced to vote.” (Phillip Russell, representative of large and small employers before the NLRB)

“Employee privacy rights are adequately protected in the legislation by granting employees the choice of how union representatives may personally contact them – through either a telephone number, email, or home address – rather than have the Board mandate through regulation that all of the above, or more, of these methods to contact employees must be provided to union representatives.” (Charles Cohen, former member of the NLRB)

Protect Employers

“The WDFA is also good for businesses, especially smaller businesses, because it would prevent fragmented workforces in which management would be forced to negotiate multiple contracts with multiple groups of employees or have fundamentally different sets of policies, pay, and practices for employers who are working side-by-side in their jobs.” (Phillip Russell, representative of large and small employers before the NLRB)

Remove a Threat to Job Creation

“The WFDA will also protect jobs because it will avoid the unnecessary costs arising from fragmented workforces.” (Phillip Russell, representative of large and small employers before the NLRB)

“More importantly, it will remove the most glaring of the Board’s recent decisional and regulatory threats to economic progress, and bring back a climate where business leaders can focus on growing the economy and creating jobs.” (Robert Sullivan, advocate on behalf of the nation’s retail industry leaders)

“With the economy showing no immediate signs of recovery and a Board that has lost its way, adoption of the WDFA is needed now more than ever before.” (Phillip Russell, representative of large and small employers before the NLRB)

Rein in an Activist NLRB

“The legislation constitutes a measured response to actions by a majority of NLRB Members, especially over the past four months, that would substantially change our federal labor laws without an appropriate mandate from Congress.” (Charles Cohen, former member of the NLRB)

“The Workforce Democracy and Fairness Act will bring reason back to the representation process, put the NLRB back on the course that the President has laid out, and let employers get back to business.” (Robert Sullivan, advocate on behalf of the nation’s retail industry leaders)

“Expansive changes to workforce policy should be vetted by the people’s elected representatives – first by this committee and then by the full Congress,” Chairman Kline concluded. “Hundreds of millions of workers and employers will be forced to live with the consequences of these dramatic changes and they deserve a Congressional response. While Democrats in Washington refuse to hold the NLRB accountable for its job-destroying agenda, the Workforce Democracy and Fairness Act helps to ensure that Congress will.” 

 

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