South Carolina Republican Congressman Tim Scott took to the House floor Friday to angrily bash new proposed rules from the National Labor Relations Board.
“We need to understand and appreciate that the NLRB has lost their marbles, without any question,” Scott said during floor debate for H. 3094.
The bill would block rules the agency proposed over the summer that would allow union elections to be held within 10 days of a petition being filed. Current law requires 35 days. Scott accused the NLRB of trying to create “quickie” union elections.
AUDIO: Rep. Scott’s speech (5:25)
Democrats accused Republicans of interfering with an independent agency. “Workers do not have enough money in their paychecks to buy things, and the economy won’t pick up until they do,” Iowa Senator Tom Harkin wrote in an op-ed column this week, “Weakening workers’ rights and taking away their ability to speak up for fair treatment will only make this problem worse.”
Scott and other South Carolina Republicans have stepped up their rhetoric against the NLRB after its board decided to pursue a lawsuit against Boeing. The NLRB accuses the aircraft manufacturer of illegally retaliating against union workers by expanding production into a non-union Charleston facility.
Scott’s “marbles” comment came as he read aloud an email from NLRB General Counsel Lafe Solomon to colleague. In the email, obtained by the organization Judical Watch, Solomon made fun of an article critical of the suit, telling his co-worker, “The article gave me a new idea. You go to Geneva, and I get a job with Airbus. We screwed up the U.S. economy, and now we can tackle Europe.”
“Only in an alternate universe is this funny or does it make any sense whatsoever,” Scott said.
Republicans say the shorter time period between a union filing and elections is unreasonable and does not give workers enough time to make an informed decision. They also say it would give unions an unfair advantage over the management, who often do not know if a petition is coming.
“Going down from 35 to 40 days down to 7 to 10 days is ridiculous,” Scott said.