By Sonia Isotov
Congresswoman Mazie K. Hirono yesterday voted against a bill she called the “Election Prevention Act” saying it did nothing but undermine workers’ rights to organize by putting up roadblocks and delays.
H.R. 3094, the “Workforce Democracy and Fairness Act,” which passed the House Committee on Education and the Workforce yesterday morning could reach the House floor as soon as next week, according to the Congresswoman’s statement.
“In Hawaii and around the country, the number one issue on people’s minds is job creation. Sadly, this bill does not create a single job,” said Congresswoman Hirono, in a written statement.
“Rather, this bill is another attack on middle class families. In Hawaii, we believe in fairness and respect. We believe that working women and men should be able to have a voice at the table. Collective bargaining for better wages and working conditions helped build the middle class. This bill would severely roll back these rights and hurt Hawaii’s families.”
Under current law, a company can talk to their workers at any time. “The company can scare workers into thinking that voting for a union will cost them their job. Meanwhile, unions are not allowed to visit the worksite to make their case. H.R. 3094 would make these problems even worse,” she continued.
“The bill would make it nearly impossible, in contested situations, for workers to come to the table and have a voice in the workplace by voting to join a union. Already, workers have to wait an average of four months to vote whether to join a union. This bill would add an extra minimum waiting period of two to five weeks, beyond the already long wait time. And each day of delay allows an employer access to their employees through captive audience meetings. The bill also requires the National Labor Relations Board to hear frivolous appeals from a company to stop an election. The bill should really be called the Election Prevention Act,” said Hirono.