Press Releases

Roe Votes to Protect Workers’ Rights

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Washington, March 19, 2015 | Tiffany Haverly (202-226-8072) | comments

WASHINGTON, D.C. – Today, Rep. Phil Roe, M.D. (R-TN) spoke on the House floor and voted in support of S.J. Res. 8, a joint resolution to overturn the National Labor Relation Board’s ambush election rule.

Earlier this year, Roe joined House Speaker John Boehner, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, House Education and the Workforce Committee Chairman John Kline and Senators Lamar Alexander and Mike Enzi to introduce this joint resolution of Congress to stop the rule’s implementation. The controversial rule was finalized in December and could shorten the time in which a union election is held to as little as 11 days. The resolution passed the Senate on March 4, 2015.

The Congressman covered this topic at length in his weekly column, which can be found here. Additionally, the House Education and Workforce Committee has more background on the rule here.

To watch Roe’s remarks, click here.

Remarks as Prepared for Delivery

I rise in strong support of both the rule and S.J. Res. 8, which would overturn the National Labor Relations Board’s ambush elections rule. I was proud to join my friend, Chairman John Kline, in introducing the House version of this resolution.

We’re here today because the Obama Administration is trying to fix a problem that does not exist, claiming that expediting elections on whether to form a union is needed because of delays in the process and supposed unfair advantages to employers.

I grew up in a union household. My father worked for BFGoodrich and was a longtime union member after World War II. I’ve seen many things unions have done that are good. Unions are legal in America. Employees have a right to hear all the information and they can decide whether or not they want to be in a union. There’s no big hurry. It’s March Madness so I’ll use a basketball metaphor. I played basketball and you expect the referees to be a fair arbiter of the game. So when you go in someone else’s home court you expect to get a fair call. That’s not what’s happening right now.

In reality, under current procedures, 94 percent of elections were held within 56 days of a petition filing. Furthermore, unions won 60 percent of those elections. Given the importance—and consequences—of the decision being made by workers, this is an entirely reasonable period of time.

Under NLRB’s radical new policy, union elections could soon be held in as little as 11 days after a petition is filed. This is not nearly enough time for employers to present their side to employees—or for those employees to make an informed decision.

Unfortunately for workers, the NLRB rule doesn’t stop here. Of grave concern to me is the threat posed to workers’ privacy. Currently, employers are required to turn over a list of employees and their home addresses to union organizers within seven days after an election is ordered.

The ambush election rule will instead open the door for greater harassment and intimidation by requiring employers to turn over each employee’s name, address, phone number, and email address—all within two days of an election order.

It’s for this reason that I introduced the Employee Privacy Protection Act in the last Congress.

This bill would have required only the names of employees and one piece of contact information—of the employee’s choosing—be provided to union organizers. This would allow communication to happen, but on the worker’s terms.

Choosing whether to be represented by a union is a big decision with ramifications in the workplace and at home. Instead of ensuring a fair process for unions, employers, AND workers, this NLRB is trying to rig the game in favor of union bosses. That’s not fair to workers or employers.
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