Although it took an eleventh hour deal, a shimmer of light has broken through the extreme Republican obstruction in the Senate. It is finally time to end the unprecedented blocking of President Obama’s nominees, which has spanned more than 700 days. More important, a confirmed National Labor Relations Board will provide millions of workers with real protection of their rights to organize and bargain with their employers.
Our founding fathers granted the Senate the power to advise and consent, not to obstruct and extort. It is downright shameful that some Republicans were willing to take the Senate to the brink of paralysis by playing politics with workers’ rights.
America’s working families applaud Senator Reid for following through on his promise to provide an up or down vote on President Obama’s nominees. Praise also goes to the Communications Workers of America (CWA) and their strong leadership as well as the leadership of our affiliated unions and allies in ensuring that the National Labor Relations Board function to protect the rights of all workers. And we thank President Obama for his leadership in ensuring that our country will have qualified public servants to run the Labor Department, the National Labor Relations Board, and the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau. These crucial agencies defend America’s workers, businesses, families, and consumers. As Kathleen Von Eitzen, a Panera Bread baker who traveled to Washington last week, said, “I don’t care if you’re Republican or Democrat, I care that you work together and govern this country, that’s what you were sent to Washington to do.”
The labor movement and our allies will continue to hold our leaders accountable to maintain a functioning government that works for the American people. We have full confidence in the leadership of Senator Reid to continue to do whatever it takes.