SalemNews.com, Salem, MA

Opinion

September 21, 2011

Congressional roll call for week of Sept. 16, 2011

WASHINGTON — WASHINGTON - Here’s how members of the Massachusetts delegation in Congress voted on major issues the week of Sept. 12.

HOUSE

NATIONAL LABOR RELATIONS ACT: Voting 238 for and 186 against, the House on Sept. 15 passed a bill (HR 2587) to amend the National Labor Relations Act in a way that curbs union rights while making it easier for companies to move operations to non-union states.

 The NLRA was enacted in 1935 to establish and protect the rights of workers to form unions and bargain collectively over pay, benefits and working conditions. This bill gives employers standing to shift facilities to right-to-work states or overseas despite the law’s stipulation that such moves cannot be a retaliation against legitimate union activity and can be subjected to collective bargaining. The bill achieves its aim by stripping the National Labor Relations Board of authority to order work restored to union employees in cases where courts rule the employer violated the law in moving work or facilities elsewhere to punish legal union activity.

John Kline, R-Minn., said the bill “tells job creators they don’t have to fear an activist NLRB reversing important decisions about where to locate a business. It offers workers peace of mind by ensuring no federal labor board can force an employer to ship their jobs across the country.”

Rob Andrews, D-N.J., called the measure “the outsourcers’ bill of rights. It says to an employer, if you want to use as an excuse the collective and union activities of your employees and you want to pick up and move to Central or South America or Asia, here’s the way to do it.”

A yes vote was to pass the bill.

Voting yes: None

Voting no: John Olver, D-Amherst; Richard Neal, D-Springfield; James McGovern, D-Worcester; Barney Frank, D-Newton; Niki Tsongas, D-Lowell; John Tierney, D-Salem; Edward Markey, D-Malden; Stephen Lynch, D-Boston; William Keating, D-Quincy  

Not voting:   Michael Capuano, D-Somverville

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