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Senate Proceeding on May 12th, 2011 :: 2:27:35 to 2:39:50
Total video length: 8 hours 26 minutes Stream Tools: Stream Overview | Edit Time

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Lamar Alexander

2:27:30 to 2:27:53( Edit History Discussion )

Lamar Alexander: a unionized american company cannot expand its operations in one of 22 states with a right-to-work law. a right-to-work law protects a worker's right to join or not to join a union. for example, in tennessee, in the case -- we're a trite work state -- a right to work state.

Lamar Alexander

2:27:35 to 2:39:50( Edit History Discussion )
Speech By: Lamar Alexander

Lamar Alexander

2:27:54 to 2:28:15( Edit History Discussion )

Lamar Alexander: in the case of a saturn employee, a worker at the saturn plant doesn't have to join a union or pay due, but he or she does have to accept the u.a.w. arrest its bargaining -- u.a.w. as its bargaining plant. at the nissan plant, workers there have three times elected

Lamar Alexander

2:28:16 to 2:28:37( Edit History Discussion )

Lamar Alexander: not to have a union as a bargaining agent. that is what a right to work state s. there are 22 of them, and the state of new hampshire is in the process of deciding whether to become the 23rd. legislators are of one view, the governor is of a different view and we'll soon know what the result is. the job protection act that i

Lamar Alexander

2:28:38 to 2:29:00( Edit History Discussion )

Lamar Alexander: introduce today on behalf of 34 united states senators would preserve the federal law's current protection of state right to work laws in the national labor relations act and provide necessary clarity to prevent the nlrb from moving forward in their case against boeing or attempting a similar strategy against other companies. specifically, the job protection

Lamar Alexander

2:29:01 to 2:29:22( Edit History Discussion )

Lamar Alexander: act would first explicitly clarify that the board can't order an employer to relocate jobs from one location to another. two, it guarantees an employer the right to decide where to do business within the united states. and three, protects an employer's free speech regarding the costs associated with having

Lamar Alexander

2:29:23 to 2:29:45( Edit History Discussion )

Lamar Alexander: a unionized workforce without fear of such communication being used as evidence in an antiunion discrimination suit. i ask unanimous consent to include in the record at this point the legislation, the job protection act, the names of the 34 united states senators who are original cosponsors of the job protection act.

Lamar Alexander

2:29:46 to 2:30:06( Edit History Discussion )

Lamar Alexander: and at the end of my remarks, mr. president, i ask that we include two articles from the "wall street journal," the first written by me on april 29 and the second written by the president of the boeing company, jim mcinerny, also chairman of president obama's export council. the presiding officer: without objection, so ordered.

Lamar Alexander

2:30:07 to 2:30:27( Edit History Discussion )

Lamar Alexander: mr. alexander: thank you very much, mr. president. to make a few remarks about the actions that have caused this, i just left a hearing in the health, education, labor and pensions committee on the middle class in america.

Lamar Alexander

2:30:28 to 2:30:48( Edit History Discussion )

Lamar Alexander: and one of the witnesses there was the general counsel of the boeing company. and as might be expected, given the notoriety of this case and the breathtaking scope of it, he got a lot of the questions. let me first say why there's such a breathtaking scope here.

Lamar Alexander

2:30:49 to 2:31:11( Edit History Discussion )

Lamar Alexander: up until the filing of the complaint, one would assume that a manufacturing company such as boeing, or a smaller company, who wanted to open a new plant to create new jobs could make its own decision about where to do that. and that in doing so, it could take into account such factors

Lamar Alexander

2:31:12 to 2:31:32( Edit History Discussion )

Lamar Alexander: as the cost of labor. it could take into account such factors as the labor relations within a state, as well as the geographical location of the -- of the state. and many other factors. but the reason the decision by the acting general counsel has attracted so much attention is

Lamar Alexander

2:31:33 to 2:31:53( Edit History Discussion )

Lamar Alexander: it basically says, or at least it suggests to any company manufacturing a product in a state which is not a right-to-work state, such as washington, that you better think twice before you open a new production line in one of the right-to-work states. now, let me talk for a moment

Lamar Alexander

2:31:54 to 2:32:14( Edit History Discussion )

Lamar Alexander: about why that has an impact upon the middle class america. 30 years ago i was governor of tennessee. we're the third poorest state, and my goal was to raise family incomes or to create an environment in which they could be raised. i knew enough to know i was a young -- i was a young governor but i knew enough to know the government didn't raise the incomes but it might create a good environment for that.

Lamar Alexander

2:32:15 to 2:32:36( Edit History Discussion )

Lamar Alexander: i went to my first white house dinner with the president of the united states. the president was then jimmy carter. the president said to us governors -- very nice dinner, just the governor and their spouses, the president and mrs. carter -- governors, go to japan, persuade them to make in the united states what they sell in the united states.

Lamar Alexander

2:32:37 to 2:32:59( Edit History Discussion )

Lamar Alexander: i remember i called dean rusk, who'd been the secretary of state, and asked him to come visit with me and talk to him about how to do this. and off i went to japan, which was not something i had really planned to do when i was walking across tennessee trying to be the governor. i met with the nissan officials in tokyo in the fall of 1979.

Lamar Alexander

2:33:00 to 2:33:20( Edit History Discussion )

Lamar Alexander: at that time, the japanese companies which seemed so powerful that there were books coming up saying japan, number 1, we thought they might take over the united states economy. but they weren't making here what they sold here. they were making nissan cars and trucks in japan.

Lamar Alexander

2:33:21 to 2:33:41( Edit History Discussion )

Lamar Alexander: but they were making a decision about where to locate in our country. i took with me a photograph of the united states at night taken from a satellite and they asked, where's tennessee? i said it's right in the middle of the lights. that reduced the shipping and transportation costs. and then the next decision was,

Lamar Alexander

2:33:42 to 2:34:02( Edit History Discussion )

Lamar Alexander: where in the center did they want to go? every state north of us did not have a right-to-work law. tennessee and the states around us did. nissan chose tennessee and they and the general motors plant that later came and the volkswagen plant and thousands of suppliers have helped our middle class raise their incomes

Lamar Alexander

2:34:03 to 2:34:25( Edit History Discussion )

Lamar Alexander: over the last 30 years. a third of our jobs are auto manufacturing jobs because we provided an environment in which automakers could compete in the world marketplace. and nissan says today that soon they'll be making in the united states 85% of what they sell in the united states, which makes

Lamar Alexander

2:34:26 to 2:34:47( Edit History Discussion )

Lamar Alexander: them a very american company. that's what we want. but this decision, madam president, says -- would throw a big, wet blanket over all the auto suppliers and manufacturers who might be thinking about moving into tennessee or opening new plants in tennessee or suppliers who might be wishing to follow boeing to south carolina because it says you can't make that decision.

Lamar Alexander

2:34:48 to 2:35:08( Edit History Discussion )

Lamar Alexander: we've never had that kind of law in the united states. we've had a right-to-work law on the books since 1947. states have a right to adopt it or not to adopt it. and the legislation i'm offering today on behalf of 34 senators doesn't change that but it does preserve the right of states to

Lamar Alexander

2:35:09 to 2:35:30( Edit History Discussion )

Lamar Alexander: adopt a right-to-work law, the right of employees to join or not to join a union, and the right of employers to make decisions about where to locate their plants or their ability to speak in public about what they're doing. this is a most consequential decision. it is one that deserves the

Lamar Alexander

2:35:31 to 2:35:53( Edit History Discussion )

Lamar Alexander: attention of every senator. because as the boeing chairman, who is the head of president obama's export council, whoat in the wall street -- wrote in the "wall street journal" this week, that a union state would not be able to attract a manufacturer because a manufacturer might be afraid that any expansion could

Lamar Alexander

2:35:54 to 2:36:15( Edit History Discussion )

Lamar Alexander: never be done in a right-to-work state. and by simple mathematics, if boeing, which is our largest exporter -- 155,000 in the united states, 15,000 around the world -- has a disincentive if it can't expand a new production

Lamar Alexander

2:36:16 to 2:36:36( Edit History Discussion )

Lamar Alexander: line in a right-to-work state and if it might think twice about expanding in any other state, then where is it going to go? it's going to go to some other country. so this decision by the acting general counsel of the national labor relations board is the single most important action i

Lamar Alexander

2:36:37 to 2:36:58( Edit History Discussion )

Lamar Alexander: have seen in years that would rush american jobs overseas in pursuit of an environment in which they can build and manufacture competitively. it is just the reverse of what president carter said to the governors 30 years ago when he said, governors, go to japan. persuade them to make here what they sell here. we did that. they came here.

Lamar Alexander

2:36:59 to 2:37:23( Edit History Discussion )

Lamar Alexander: they're making 85% of what they sell here. we want volkswagen to do that. we want general motors to do that. we want ford to do that. and we want boeing to do that. and if we say to them, but you -- we're going to tell you, the federal government is going to tell you where you have to locate your plants, you're going

Lamar Alexander

2:37:24 to 2:37:45( Edit History Discussion )

Lamar Alexander: to override section 14b of the taft-hartly act which was created in 1947 which has created an environment which really has permitted american manufacturing to succeed. all one has to auto is to read david halverstam's book, "the reckoning" of the late 1980's to see in our entire auto industry, if it were still locked into detroit, that it wouldn't be as competitive as it is today, cars made in america.

Lamar Alexander

2:37:46 to 2:38:06( Edit History Discussion )

Lamar Alexander: i know that firsthand because i saw it happen when nissan came to tennessee, they didn't hire a bunch of people from japan to run the plant. they went to detroit. they got ford executives who knew how to -- who knew how to run a plant but weren't allowed to by the environment there and they put them at a start-from-scratch place and they created the most efficient

Lamar Alexander

2:38:07 to 2:38:27( Edit History Discussion )

Lamar Alexander: automobile plant in north america. and we welcome also the general motors plant and the united auto workers to their spring location in tennessee. that's what a right-to-work state is, it's where you can choose to join a union or not to join a union. both can operate. employees make the decision. but when the federal government

Lamar Alexander

2:38:28 to 2:38:48( Edit History Discussion )

Lamar Alexander: starts telling any company, a boeing or a boeing supplier or an auto company or an auto supplier or any manufacturing company, you can't locate in a right-to-work state, they probably won't locate in a non-right-to-work state. where are they likely to go? mexico, europe, japan. boeing sells airplanes all around the world. it can make airplanes all around the world.

Lamar Alexander

2:38:49 to 2:39:09( Edit History Discussion )

Lamar Alexander: and if we persist in policies like this instead of having the situation where our largest exporter has 170,000 employees, more than 150,000 of which are in the united states, we'll turn that right upside-down and they'll be making 85% of their airplanes in the countries where

Lamar Alexander

2:39:10 to 2:39:30( Edit History Discussion )

Lamar Alexander: they sell them and the united states will have lost jobs. so this is a consequential matter that i hope attracts democratic as well as republican support. it preserves the right-to-work law. it preserves the choices of employees. it preserves the decision of corporations to make their own decisions about where to locate.

Lamar Alexander

2:39:31 to 2:39:50( Edit History Discussion )

Lamar Alexander: and it would stop a federal government regulation which is the single-most effective action i know about to chase american jobs overseas and lower family incomes. i thank the cha

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