Labor Stands Up to GOP Crusade Against Workers’ Rights

Despite relentless Republican attacks, House Democrats and labor advocates are not giving up on the fight to provide working Americans with a fully-functioning National Labor Relations Board (NLRB).

Reps. Linda Sánchez (D-CA) and Joe Courtney (D-CT) have authored a letter, signed by all 201 House Democrats, demanding that Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) immediately consider President Obama’s complete package of nominees to the country’s top independent labor board. IAM members joined lawmakers on Capitol Hill to publicly demand swift action to preserve the NLRB. 

“More than 80 million private sector employees rely on the National Labor Relations Board for protection from unfair labor practices,” said Sánchez. “By threatening to shut down the NLRB’s ability to function, Sen. McConnell and Senate Republicans undermine the very foundation of our country’s labor laws and workplace protections. Republicans should stop this reckless attack on workers’ rights. The American people deserve better than this. They deserve to have a fully-functioning NLRB so that workers are on equal ground with their employers.”

The NLRB is designed to have five members, but a conservative panel of judges on the D.C. Circuit Court ruled President Obama’s recess appointment unconstitutional – creating confusion among employers and employees in what is usually a routine exercise of presidential power. The U.S. Supreme Court has said they will consider the case this fall, but not before the NLRB loses its quorum of three members when one member’s term expires in August.

The result would be an NLRB that is unable to function – and more tragic, cases of American workers losing their rights. Click here to read a story about almost 200 West Virginia coal miners who were fired simply for being in a union.

Congressional Republicans haven’t been shy about their plans to kill the 78-year-old NLRB. Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-SC) has said “the NLRB as inoperable could be considered progress.” Graham and Senate Republicans will almost certainly continue to block the board’s nominations – even though the package of five nominees includes two Republicans that were recommended by McConnell’s office.

“This blatant attempt to prevent the National Labor Relations Board from functioning for our nation’s workers and employers is shameful,” said Rep. Courtney.  “Without a functioning board, appeals would not be heard, decisions would not be enforced, and violations of workers’ rights would go without remedy. I call on Sen. McConnell to drop these obstructionist tactics and allow the Senate to fulfill its constitutional responsibility to consider the president’s appointments to the NLRB.”

Click here to sign a petition demanding the Senate consider and confirm a bipartisan package of nominations to the NLRB.