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Give Us Five!

May 16, 2013


CWA and labor activists took to Capitol Hill today to tell lawmakers "Give Us Five" National Labor Relations Board members – even if that means changing the Senate rules on nominations to break through the gridlock.

"We're not going to just be hopeful that Senate Democrats do the right thing," said CWA President Larry Cohen. "Progressives of all types understand the system is broken and that many nominations cannot get through the Senate despite majority support. Working people know that a full-strength NLRB is the first step to justice on the job. And they're fed up. They're fed up with gridlock, and they want their senators to make a difference."

At the Health, Education, Labor and Pensions Committee hearing on pending NLRB nominations, activists wore red buttons and stickers reading, "Give Me 5 NLRB Members" to encourage senators to vote on the nominations.

Sen. Tom Harkin (D-IA) noted of the NLRB's importance, "the Board is the only place workers can go if they have been treated unfairly and denied the basic protections that the law provides...The Board is just as essential for our nation's employers...Because this agency is absolutely critical to our country, to our economy, and to our middle class, it is deeply disappointing to see what has happened to the Board in recent years."

Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-VT) told the committee, "If the goal is to prevent the NLRB from functioning, in terms of protecting the rights of American workers, I think we should change the rules and take a majority vote to not only see that these people are seated, so they can do their job, but so other nominees, who have been clearly obstructed also have a chance to do their job."


Today a new ad running in Politico reads, "It's time for the Senate majority to confirm the three Democrats and two Republicans who have been nominated to the NLRB so that workers' rights are protected and labor law is fairly enforced. We have a Democratic President, elected by a strong majority, and a Democratic majority in the Senate. The Senate has the tools it needs to confirm all five members of the Board."

Check out some of the coverage:

Los Angeles Times
Nuking the filibuster.

Huffington Post
NLRB nominations may be blocked by GOP, rendering labor board inoperable.

The Hill
Senate Democrats: Nuclear option for filibuster is back on the table.

The Hill
Unions mobilize as labor board faces paralysis in Obama's second term.

Ed Schultz Radio Show
Interview with CWA President Larry Cohen.

Think Progress
Two GOP Judges Just Voted to Eliminate Union Rights, Here's How the Senate Can Stop Them.

In These Times
Meet one of the victims in the right-wing war against the NLRB.

Senate set for showdown over W.H. nominees.