Floor Speech

Date: July 13, 2022
Location: Washington, DC


Mr. JONES. Mr. Speaker, I rise in support of my amendment, amendment No. 2, which prohibits the Department of Defense from awarding contracts to companies engaged in illegal anti-union activity.

Every worker in this country deserves a living wage, a safe workplace, and the opportunity to join a union if they so choose. We know that some companies spend millions of dollars illegally fighting employee unionization efforts and get rewarded with government contracts.

Companies that engage in unfair labor practices--including threats, bribery, coercion, spying, and punishing workers for their attempts at unionization--are not barred from receiving these lucrative government deals.

This amendment would change that. It bars the Department of Defense from awarding any of their more than $400 billion in annual contracts to companies engaged in these illegal activities.

President Biden promised to ``be the most pro-union President leading the most pro-union administration in American history.'' I hope that we can make this goal a reality.

Mr. Speaker, I encourage all of my colleagues to vote ``yes'' on amendment No.


Mr. JONES. Mr. Speaker, I would just note that unfair labor practice violations will only disqualify an employer from DOD contracts if an employer refuses to settle a violation or remains out of compliance with the terms of that settlement. When an employer settles a violation with the NLRB and remains in compliance with the terms of their settlement, they will regain eligibility for DOD contracts.

Respectfully, my colleague's concern on the other side of the aisle is misplaced. There is also a broader issue at hand.

Why are we being asked to sacrifice the rights of working people to support defense capabilities?

These are not mutually exclusive priorities.

Mr. JONES. Mr. Speaker, how much time do I have remaining?

The freedom to join a union is essential--essential to the dignity of workers to secure living wages and good benefits and building an economy that works for everyone, not just the wealthy and the well- connected.

Current law recognizes how essential this freedom is and how the deck is too often stacked against workers. This is the very reason the National Labor Relations Act exists and why unfair labor practices are illegal.

When employers are rewarded for suppressing worker rights, we undermine the very purpose of having labor laws at all.

I think we should be very clear about what is going on here.

The Democrats are fighting for middle-class jobs with good pay and benefits and an economy where one job is enough, where 40 hours of work is enough to live with dignity.

Republicans are not interested in protecting workers. They are interested in protecting the corporations that exploit workers for profit and corporations whose bottom line depends on keeping wages low and suppressing worker power. My Republican colleagues want to protect the government contracts of companies that violate labor law.

Mr. Speaker, I urge all of my colleagues to protect the rights of working people by voting ``yes'' on amendment No. 2, and I yield back the balance of my time.