Labor union president criticizes Kline’s NLRB bill

WASHINGTON – The president of the AFL-CIO has denounced a new bill introduced by GOP Rep. John Kline, calling it “anti-worker.”

Kline, who represents Minnesota’s 2nd Congressional District and is chairman of the Education and Workforce Committee, has become the House Republicans’ point man in a growing struggle with the National Labor Relations Board.

The GOP has harshly criticized the agency for a recent decision penalizing Boeing for building a new aircraft factory in South Carolina so as to avoid hiring additional union workers at its Seattle base.

Legislation introduced yesterday by Kline would overturn a new NLRB rule that speeds up the union election process and is the latest in a series of legislative maneuvers in the House to strike at the independent agency.

Citing the Occupy Wall Street protests taking place nationwide, AFL-CIO President Richard Trumka said the GOP was going too far.

“Rep. Kline and anyone who supports his anti-worker bill should take a moment to listen to the people on Wall Street – not the CEOs or hedge fund managers, but rather the people standing together to protest,” said Trumka in a statement. “What they’ll hear is a call for action to create good jobs and end the inequalities caused by corporate greed and economic injustice.”

In statement introducing his bill yesterday, Kline said the NLRB’s action would weaken the economic recovery.

“While some would prefer to stand by and watch as the board harasses employers and weakens worker protections, my Republican colleagues and I are determined to hold the NLRB accountable for its job-destroying agenda,” said Kline.

Kline’s bill will get a hearing in the Education and Workforce Committee next week and is likely to be fast-tracked to the House floor by GOP leadership. But it’s unlikely to be taken up by the Democratic-controlled Senate.

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