Fresh off his , U.S. Rep. Bradley Byrne went right to work Wednesday, voting to send a pair of Republican-backed bills regarding union elections to the full House of Representatives.
The first bill, the Workforce Democracy and Fairness Act, would roll back a National Labor Relations Board rule that shortens the election period at companies where some workers have sought to unionize.
The second bill, the Employee Privacy Protection Act, gives workers more control over the disclosure of their personal contact information to the labor board for the purposes of a union election.
Both cleared the committee on largely party-line votes.
Byrne, R-Mobile, joined the House Education and Workforce Committee this week. He replaced Rep. Martha Roby, R-Montgomery, who in December .
Having represented employers in union elections for many years in the private sector, I know firsthand the importance of preserving the balance between workers and employers in the workplace, Byrne said in a prepared statement. The NLRB s ambush election rule represents nothing less than a direct assault on this delicate balance, tossing aside decades of negotiations and precedent. It impedes employers from being able to fully voice their concerns in a union election and allows the NLRB to collect sensitive and private data from workers without their consent.
The National Labor Relations Board made a rule providing as little as 10 days for pro- and anti-union representatives to make their cases before voting on a unionization petition. The bill would require at least 35 days.
The NLRB rule also cut to seven days the time employers have to prepare for a pre-election hearing convened by an NLRB officer. The bill would extend that to 14 days.
Supporters argue that the rule streamlines the process and gives employers less time to intimidate workers before balloting.
The bill is neither democratic nor fair but tells us much about the extreme policies of congressional Republicans on labor rights, wrote John Logan, a pro-union professor at San Francisco State University, in a 2011 blog about an earlier version of the proposal.
The committee votes Wednesday came as the supporters of a higher-profile labor issue failed to muster the votes to overcome a Republican-led filibuster in the Senate on the .
Committee Chairman John Kline welcomed Byrne to the commission Wednesday. A clip of that can be seen below.
Updated at 3:38 p.m. to add information about the committee vote breakdown and the Senate filibuster of the Paycheck Fairness Act.
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