Miller: GOP’s Job Outsourcers’ Bill of Rights Undermines the Opportunity for Middle Class to Succeed

Jul 28, 2011 Issues: Labor, Jobs and Job Training, Worker Rights
WASHINGTON, D.C. – Below are the prepared remarks of U.S. Rep. George Miller (D-CA), the senior Democrat on the House Committee on Education and the Workforce, for a press conference on the GOP’s Job Outsourcers’ Bill of Rights
 
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Congress is about to vote on a bill that will severely undermine the opportunity for middle class workers to succeed in life.
 
The reason that this highly partisan Republican bill is being rushed to the floor this week is to change the rules mid-trial on behalf of one Fortune 500 company.  
 
But make no mistake – it is designed for a much larger purpose. It will have devastating repercussions for all American workers.
 
It will eviscerate the rights of workers, help ship more jobs overseas, undermine job creation in this country, and kill opportunity for people who are working hard and playing by the rules.
 
This bill pits Americans against each other and takes jobs away from those who assert their rights.  Their bill says companies have an absolute right to outsource work to China or India, even if they break the law when doing it.
 
That’s why this terrible bill should be named the Job Outsourcers’ Bill of Rights. 
 
The Republicans’ intentions are clear. First, they are coming for workers’ rights. After that, they are coming for their jobs. 
 
Today, in the American workplace, it is illegal to retaliate against workers for exercising their rights. These rights include the right to form or join a union, the right to strike, or even the right to sign a petition asking for a raise or better safety equipment.
 
But under this bill, these rights suddenly become meaningless because there is no effective remedy when workers’ jobs are outsourced in violation of their rights.
 
A right without a remedy is no right at all. 
 
Without an effective remedy, the Republican Job Outsourcers’ Bill of Rights will make it easier to ship jobs overseas. 
 
It will also create a new race to the bottom for American workers.   
 
Workers will exercise their rights less frequently, and wages, benefits, and working conditions will get worse. 
 
That means consumer demand will fall.
 
Economic activity decreases and jobs across America will be lost.
 
In statehouses across the country, Republicans are attacking teachers, firefighters and public servants.
 
In the halls of Congress, those same radical forces are working to eliminate wage protections and gut the National Labor Relations Board, which enforces the nation’s labor law.
 
This bill in the House is just the latest effort by Republicans in Congress to join this fight in the states against the rights and economic opportunity of working Americans. 
 
All of these attacks are designed to remove a vital check on corporate power overrunning our democracy. 
 
The American people strongly disagree with the notion that working families have too much power or get paid too much.
 
Working families don’t need smaller paychecks.  And workers don’t need fewer protections on the job. But that’s what they will get if this bill becomes law.  
 
So, this is my question: Will the Republican leadership work with us to create good jobs in this country and give Americans the opportunity to get ahead in this economy, or will they continue to only help those who are already ahead?