Republicans Abandon Hope To Overturn Obama’s Big Labor Veto
Concerned over a lack of support from Senate Democrats, Republicans leaders agreed Tuesday to table a vote geared at overriding a veto which critics claim unfairly benefits unions.
In March, Senate and House Republicans voted on a resolution to overturn a National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) rule which drastically shortened the length of time in which a union certification election must be held.
President Barack Obama however was quick to veto the resolution and, with Democrat opposition making it unlikely to reach two-thirds majority vote needed, Republicans decided to table the override vote.
“Because of Democrats’ obstruction, I voted with Senate Majority Leader [Mitch] McConnell to table the motion – otherwise Democrats would be able to further obstruct our ability to deal with important issues including Iran, trade agreements, and fixing No Child Left Behind,” Senate labor committee chairman Lamar Alexander said in a statement.
“The President’s partisan veto will further empower partisan political bosses at the expense of the rights of middle-class workers,” McConnell said in a statement. “Republicans believe workers have the right to make their own, informed choices when casting a ballot in the workplace; we don’t think powerful political bosses should rush or force that decision on them, as the ambush rule proposes.”
From the beginning critics have argued the rule change greatly benefits unions at the expense of workers and their employers by depriving them the chance to explain and understand the impact of unionizing.
“Workers ought to be afforded at least 30 days to grapple with the pros and cons of Big Labor before a vote on unionization; but the U.S. Senate today failed to support a plan to ensure workers get that time for consideration,” Aloysius Hogan, a senior fellow and labor policy expert with the Competitive Enterprise Institute, told The Daily Caller News Foundation.
“The next chance for lawmakers to stop the National Labor Relations Board from implementing its so-called ‘ambush election’ rule will be via the upcoming appropriations process,” he continued. “Otherwise, the balance of power will shift further in the direction of Big Labor and away from hardworking Americans.”
Labor board officials have defended the new rule by noting it will help streamline the process for resolving representation disputes.
“I am heartened that the Board has chosen to enact amendments that will modernize the representation case process and fulfill the promise of the National Labor Relations Act,” NLRB Chairman Mark Gaston Pearce said in a statement. “Simplifying and streamlining the process will result in improvements for all parties. With these changes, the Board strives to ensure that its representation process remains a model of fairness and efficiency for all.”
The rule was approved by board members Pearce, Kent Hirozawa and Nancy Schiffer with Philip Miscimarra and Harry Johnson III dissenting.
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