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Misrepresentation

December 1, 2011
Times Leader

Dear Editor,

Talk about misrepresentation.

Only ten days after voters in Ohio made it very clear that the public overwhelmingly sees value in workers being represented by unions. Twelve Ohio Republicans in the U.S. House of Representatives including Rep. Bill Johnson (R) of our own 6th District voted for House Res. 470 which allows for the consideration of H.R. 3094 or the misleadingly named "Workforce Democracy and Fairness Act." This act seeks to amend the National Labor Relations Act (NLRA) with respect to representation hearings and the timing of elections of labor organizations under the act.

If enacted, this bill would disadvantage workers seeking a voice at work, by giving employers the tools to determine if and when a National labor Relations Board (NLRB) election would be held.

The National Labor Relations act (NLRA) became law in 1935. Its stated policy is "To Encourage Collective Bargaining." The NLRB and the courts have interpreted the NLRA for over 75 years, and have developed processes for handling representation cases when a group of workers seeks to form a union. H.R. 3094 would set aside the agency's expertise and decades of case law and replace them with new and untested processes that would cause uncertainty, delay of elections and prevent rather than encourage collective bargaining.

H.R. 3094 mandates a full, pre-election hearing over any issue raised by a party. This provision would allow employers to present frivolous or meaningless issues in order to achieve delay of an election.

During this delay, employers would have full access to workers with their anti-union message, while the union would have no access to counter this message.

In summary, this bill has nothing to do with workforce democracy or fairness. Rather it is another attempt to prevent workers from engaging in collective bargaining. Republicans representing Ohio are misrepresenting us, and have done so for many years.

They have done nothing but brutally attack organized labor and social programs that are relied upon by the very people that they are supposed to represent, all this while they protect the richest, whose incomes have increased 135 percent since 1980. These constant Republican attacks on labor affect more than just union members.

I ask you if unions had never existed, would we have Social Security, Medicare, Unemployment Benefits, Workers Compensation, Minimum Wage, Workplace Safety Laws, or the Civil Rights Act? Would there have ever been a middle class, or would our children still labor in sweatshops, while we owe our soul to the company store?

Sincerely,

Ben Lofton

Bellaire

 
 

 

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