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WASHINGTON, DC - House Democratic Whip Steny H. Hoyer (MD) released the following statement today in response to the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) Kentucky River decision, which could potentially jeopardize the right to collective bargaining for over 34 million workers:
"The National Labor Relations Board's decision in the Kentucky River cases represents just the latest move by the Bush White House to erode worker rights. President Bush's appointees on the Board essentially played semantic games with workers' job titles to achieve the political end of depressing union membership. That the Bush Administration supports this frivolous reasoning in considering the basic rights and freedoms of our nation's labor force is a testament to their growing disconnect with the American people.
"This decision will deny the right to organize to more than 8 million workers immediately, with the potential to affect up to 34 million workers, making it harder for them to fight for better pay and benefits. Workers are already suffering in this economy, with real incomes for middle-class families declining while the costs of basic family needs are rising dramatically. Overall, household income has dropped nearly $1,300 since 2001, while costs for health care, housing and college have skyrocketed. A drop in union membership has contributed to the weak wage growth workers are experiencing.
"With this decision, President Bush's political appointees have denied millions of Americans the opportunity to create brighter futures for their families. We must provide a new direction for working men and women in this country, one that strengthens and protects their right to bargain for fair pay and benefits."