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Republicans Seek to ‘Strengthen’ Labor Law

Photo by jackace/Flickr

OMG, look up! Is that a flying pig? That was my thought when I read the latest bulletin from the Republican-controlled House Education and Workforce Committee announcing a hearing that would be “Examining Proposals to Strengthen the National Labor Relations Act (NLRA).”

Wow! What a change of heart. This is the same committee that has spent the past two years trying to scale back workers’ rights—especially the right to join unions. The committee also has tried to gut the agency, the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB), that is in charge of protecting workers’ rights on the job.  

Then I took a closer look. Two of the key witnesses were from a right-wing think tank—the Hudson Institute—and one of the most extremist anti-worker organizations—the National Right to Work Legal Defense Foundation.

OK, but what about the proposals to “strengthen” labor law and workers’ rights?

Well, we have a little problem there, too. One of the bills—the so-called RAISE Act—would give employers the right to circumvent collective bargaining agreements’ provisions on wage increases.

The other main bill Republicans said would “strengthen” labor law actually would take away workers’ and employers’ rights under current law that allows employers to voluntarily recognize the workers' choice to join a union when a majority sign union authorization cards.  

During the hearing today not one Republican lawmaker said he or she would drop support for legislation to overturn the NLRB’s or the National Mediation Board’s recently approved fair union election rules. Nor did they back off any other of the myriad of Republican anti-worker and anti-union proposals.

Looks like the pig hasn’t been cleared for takeoff after all.

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