08.02.17

Murray Slams Trump’s Nominee for National Labor Relations Board for His Lack of Experience and Anti-Worker Record

Murray Slams Trump’s Nominee for National Labor Relations Board for His Lack of Experience and Anti-Worker Record

 

Murray urges colleagues to vote against Marvin Kaplan for National Labor Relations Board – LINK

 

As President Trump continues to roll back worker protections, NLRB is critical to ensuring workers are being treated fairly

 

Kaplan has spent his career undermining NLRB and lacks experience practicing labor law

 

(Washington, D.C.) – Senator Patty Murray (D-WA), ranking member of the Senate Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions (HELP) Committee, urged her colleagues today to vote against Marvin Kaplan, President Trump’s nominee for the National Labor Relations Board (NRLB). Senator Murray highlighted the importance of the NLRB and workers’ right to organize, especially as the Trump Administration continues to roll back worker protections and puts corporations first. She also cited concerns about Kaplan’s record of undermining the NLRB and his lack of experience and knowledge of labor law and the NLRB.

 

Key excerpts of Senator Murray’s remarks:

 

“The National Labor Relations Board gives workers the opportunity to file charges against corporations when they illegally fire, or retaliate against workers for exercising their rights. President Trump should be familiar with the NLRB—as his own businesses have had complaints filed numerous times. That is precisely why it is so important the board is independent, and is committed to advocating for workers and their right to organize. M. President, the preamble of the National Labor Relations Act clearly states it is the policy of the United States to encourage collective bargaining…To give workers a voice, allowing them to speak up for fair wages and safe working conditions. And it is the responsibility of the NLRB to ensure workers are being treated fairly and to resolve disputes between corporate management and workers.”

 

“This exactly why I have serious concerns about Mr. Marvin Kaplan’s record, which has largely been in opposition to the work and mission of the NLRB. M. President, as a labor staffer in the House of Representatives, Mr. Kaplan prepared and staffed hearings where Republicans consistently attacked the NLRB. In fact, I would be hard-pressed to name a single example of Mr. Kaplan supporting the rights of workers and unions. In addition to Mr. Kaplan’s opposition to the core mission of the board, I also have deep reservations about Mr. Kaplan’s lack of legal experience practicing before the NLRB.

 

“When I asked Mr. Kaplan about his lack of practical qualifications, his responses were telling… Have you ever represented a party, employer or union, in an unfair labor practice case or representation case before the Board? No. Have you ever represented a worker in an employment matter? No. And what’s more, when asked to speak on the pressing questions facing the Board at his confirmation hearing, he confused basic labor issues and decisions, further calling into question whether he has the experience and knowledge to serve on this critically important board.”

 

Full text of Senator Murray’s remarks, as prepared for delivery:

 

Thank you M. President.

 

I come to the floor today to stand up for the workers President Trump is failing.

 

As a candidate running for President, Mr. Trump promised workers he would put them first—and that he would bring back good-paying, respectable jobs to their communities.

 

But since day one, President Trump has done the exact opposite.

 

He has rolled back worker protections and made it harder for families to become financially secure.

 

Unfortunately, M. President, this doesn’t come as a surprise to me, especially when I look at President Trump’s record as a businessman. 

 

And he’s refused to allow his hotel workers to organize or join a union—preventing them from having the opportunity to better advocate for safer working conditions and better pay.

 

M. President, strong unions helped created our middle class.

 

And for many working families in the 20th century—a good union job, or the right to collective bargaining—helped them move up the economic ladder.

 

But over the past few decades, we’ve seen a decline in unions and union membership across the country.

 

And as a result, our economy has started to favor corporations and those at the top.

 

This paved the way for President Trump and billionaires like him to take advantage of their workers—with little recourse for everyday people who are the backbone of our country.

 

But, M. President, the National Labor Relations Board gives workers the opportunity to file charges against corporations when they illegally fire, or retaliate against workers for exercising their rights.

 

President Trump should be familiar with the NLRB—as his own businesses have had complaints filed numerous times.

 

That is precisely why it is so important the board is independent, and is committed to advocating for workers and their right to organize.

 

M. President, the preamble of the National Labor Relations Act clearly states it is the policy of the United States to encourage collective bargaining…

 

To give workers a voice, allowing them to speak up for fair wages and safe working conditions.

 

And it is the responsibility of the NLRB to ensure workers are being treated fairly and to resolve disputes between corporate management and workers.

 

So, it is clear to me that board members should believe in the core mission of the NLRB—and should be committed to standing up for workers and their right to collective bargaining.

 

And this exactly why I have serious concerns about Mr. Marvin Kaplan’s record, which has largely been in opposition to the work and mission of the NLRB.

 

M. President, as a labor staffer in the House of Representatives, Mr. Kaplan prepared and staffed hearings where Republicans consistently attacked the NLRB.

 

In fact, I would be hard-pressed to name a single example of Mr. Kaplan supporting the rights of workers and unions.

 

In addition to Mr. Kaplan’s opposition to the core mission of the board, I also have deep reservations about Mr. Kaplan’s lack of legal experience practicing before the NLRB.

 

When I asked Mr. Kaplan about his lack of practical qualifications, his responses were telling…

 

Have you ever represented a party, employer or union, in an unfair labor practice case or representation case before the Board? No.

 

Have you ever represented a worker in an employment matter? No.

 

And what’s more, when asked to speak on the pressing questions facing the Board at his confirmation hearing, he confused basic labor issues and decisions, further calling into question whether he has the experience and knowledge to serve on this critically important board.

 

This is not a difficult concept for workers across the country to grasp.

 

If you are not qualified for a job that is this important—or if you want to undermine the basic goals of the law—you should not get the job.

 

So, M. President, I will be voting no on Mr. Kaplan’s confirmation.

 

And I urge my colleagues to do the same.

 

I know my colleagues on both sides of the aisle want to strengthen our economy and rebuild our middle class.

 

Let’s stand with working families across the country who are simply asking for a fair shot.

 

Thank you, M. President, I yield the floor.

 

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