June 22, 2011
Statement by Randi Weingarten,
President, American Federation of Teachers,
On Proposed NLRB Rules Changes
New Standards Would Give Workers a Fair Chance to Vote on Union Representation
By Eliminating Delays and Wasteful Litigation
WASHINGTON—The changes proposed by the National Labor Relations Board represent a modest but significant step in protecting the right of working men and women to decide whether to form a union.
These commonsense proposals are designed to ensure a fair process for workers who want to vote on whether to unionize.
Tactical decisions by employers to buy time, either before an election or before bargaining begins, have created a system paralyzed by delays, bureaucracy and wasteful litigation. By cleaning up and modernizing the system, these proposals will help level the playing field for workers, ensuring they have a fair chance to vote.
Unions built America’s middle class. As union representation declined, the economy sputtered, the gap between the rich and the rest of us widened, and the number of children living in poverty skyrocketed.
The board’s proposed changes won’t fix all of those problems, but they are a step in the right direction.
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The AFT represents 1.5 million pre-K through 12th-grade teachers; paraprofessionals and other school-related personnel; higher education faculty and professional staff; federal, state and local government employees; nurses and healthcare workers; and early childhood educators.