04.29.21

Murray Urges Confirmation for NLRB Nominee Jennifer Abruzzo and Labor Nominee Seema Nanda

At the hearing, Murray highlighted the importance of confirming Abruzzo and Nanda to help safeguard workers’ rights

 

Murray emphasized Jennifer Abruzzo’s decades of service at the NLRB and Seema Nanda’s record of defending workers against unfair hiring practices

 

Senator Murray: “Ms. Abruzzo and Ms. Nanda both have long records as champions of workers and defenders of workers’ rights.”

 

***WATCH SENATOR MURRAY’S OPENING REMARKS HERE***

 

(Washington, D.C.) – Today, at a hearing of the Senate Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions (HELP) Committee, Chair Patty Murray (D-WA) urged her colleagues to support the nominations of Jennifer Abruzzo, to be General Counsel of the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB), and Seema Nanda, to be Solicitor for the Department of Labor (DOL), citing their long records as champions of workers and the importance of confirming trusted, well-qualified public servants to protect workers’ rights and build back a stronger, fairer economy.

 

“Ms. Abruzzo and Ms. Nanda both have long records as champions of workers, and defenders of workers’ rights,” Senator Murray stated in her opening remarks. “I urge my colleagues to show families they are listening, and stand with workers by voting to confirm these highly qualified nominees.”

 

At the hearing, Senator Murray highlighted Jennifer Abruzzo’s decades long public service at the NLRB and her record defending workers against companies for attempting to undermine workers rights’ to organize. Additionally, Senator Murray highlighted Seema Nanda’s work defending immigrant workers from discrimination and holding employers accountable for unfair hiring practices.

 

“Ms. Abruzzo has won victories against companies for attempting to undermine workers rights’ to organize, and call for better wages. Ms. Nanda has fought to defend immigrant workers from discrimination, and held employers accountable for unfair hiring practices,” said Senator Murray. “In short, they are both highly qualified for their positions, and deeply committed to working families.”

 

After years of unprecedented Republican obstruction of NLRB nominees, and efforts to tip the scales of justice against workers and toward big corporations, Senator Murray stressed that workers deserve to finally have strong leaders committed to protecting their rights. She also highlighted her continuing fight to build back an economy that works for everyone—not just those on top.

 

“Of course, confirming these nominees is only the latest step we must take to build a stronger, fairer economy for working families,” said Senator Murray. “We must also raise the minimum wage, and ensure equal pay, end workplace harassment and discrimination, root out the systemic racism, sexism, ableism, and bigotry that unfairly holds so many workers back, ensure every worker has paid family, medical, and sick leave; quality, affordable child care; and a secure retirement plan, and protect every worker’s right to join a union. And I’m going to keep pressing for us to do just that.”

 

Senator Murray’s full remarks, as prepared for delivery, below.

 

“Ms. Abruzzo, Ms. Nanda, thank you both for joining us today. 

“This pandemic has upended workers’ lives, and created the most unequal economic crisis in recent history.

 

“It is painfully clear that our economy is working great for those at the very top—but not for workers who keep our country running—or their families and communities.

 

“Which is why it’s so important we have strong leaders at the National Labor Relations Board and the Department of Labor—like Ms. Abruzzo, and Ms. Nanda.

 

“Since its founding in 1935, the NLRB has fought to protect working families who are the backbone of our economy.

 

“When workers stand together to form a union, when they are fired or unfairly punished because they want to join or form a union, when companies refuse to negotiate fairly with unions fighting for higher wages, safer working conditions, and better benefits—like pensions, paid family and medical leave, or quality, affordable child care—the NLRB makes sure union elections are fair, and workers’ voices are heard.

 

“It safeguards the workers’ rights that have helped build our country’s middle class, and that can help us rebuild our nation stronger and fairer in the wake of this crisis.

 

“That should be a bipartisan goal, but the last 15 years have been characterized by unprecedented Republican obstruction of NLRB nominees. 

 

“In recent years, the previous President’s failure to nominate Democratic Board members—and the Republican-led Senate’s decision not to advance nominees—has left the board with an empty Democratic seat for nearly three years, and without a single Democratic member from late 2019 until mid-2020.

“Let’s be clear though, the issue wasn’t simply that Republicans refused to advance qualified nominees—it’s that they tipped the scales of justice against workers, and toward big corporations.

 

“Fortunately, we now have a new President, a new Senate, and new nominees to fight on behalf of workers.

 

“Ms. Abruzzo and Ms. Nanda both have long records as champions of workers, and defenders of workers’ rights.

 

“Both are familiar with the tasks ahead, and the organizations they would help run: Ms. Abruzzo spent nearly 23 years at the NLRB, including her time serving as Acting General Counsel—the role she is nominated to fill now—and Ms. Nanda has served in the Department of Labor previously as Deputy Chief of Staff, Deputy Solicitor of Labor, and Chief of Staff.

 

“Both have taken on major corporations to protect workers from unfair treatment.

“Ms. Abruzzo has won victories against companies for attempting to undermine workers rights’ to organize, and call for better wages.

 

“Ms. Nanda has fought to defend immigrant workers from discrimination, and held employers accountable for unfair hiring practices.

 

“In short, they are both highly qualified for their positions, and deeply committed to working families.

 

“I urge my colleagues to show families they are listening, and stand with workers by voting to confirm these highly qualified nominees.

 

“Of course, confirming these nominees is only the latest step we must take to build a stronger, fairer economy for working families.


“We must also raise the minimum wage, and ensure equal pay, end workplace harassment and discrimination, root out the systemic racism, sexism, ableism, and bigotry that unfairly holds so many workers back, ensure every worker has paid family, medical, and sick leave; quality, affordable child care; and a secure retirement plan, and protect every worker’s right to join a union.

 

“And I’m going to keep pressing for us to do just that.”

 

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