Harkin Responds to GOP Attacks on Nonpartisan National Labor Relations Board

WASHINGTON – Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions (HELP) Committee Chairman Tom Harkin (D-IA) today released the following statement responding to the comments made by Republican politicians at a press conference today on the National Labor Relations Board investigation of the Boeing Company.  On Thursday, Harkin will convene a HELP Committee hearing to discuss why the middle class is increasingly slipping out of reach for Americans, at which the General Counsel for Boeing will testify.

“What we are really witnessing here is another example of the Republican assault on the middle class that has been echoing across the country for months now.  Instead of focusing on how we can get Americans working again and get the middle class back on its feet, Republicans have chosen to spend their time attacking the handling of a routine unfair labor practice charge.  This overly dramatic response and the disturbing misinformation they are peddling has needlessly complicated the legal process and distorted the public discussion of this case.

“These opponents of workers’ rights have also mischaracterized the fundamental issue at stake, suggesting that this case represents an assault on ‘right to work’ laws.  That’s just factually incorrect – there is absolutely no way that the outcome of this case could affect in any way the laws of any state.

“This fight is about far more than just one group of workers in Washington State.  Unions are one of the few voices left in our society speaking up for the little guy, and if we let powerful CEOs trample all over these rights without consequences, we might as well give up on having a middle class altogether.

“That’s what this all comes down to:  powerful corporate interests are pressuring public officials to interfere with an independent agency, rather than let justice run its course.  And we should not tolerate this interference.  Instead, we should turn our attention back to the issues that really matter to American families – how we can create jobs in Washington, South Carolina, Iowa, and across the country”