indianz.com your internet resource indianz.com on facebook indianz.com on twitter indianz.com on Google+
ph: 202 630 8439   fax: 202 318 2182
Kill The Tobacco Master Settlement Agreement
Advertise on Indianz.Com
Home > News > Headlines

printer friendly version
Tribal labor law rider killed by wide margin in House
Monday, June 27, 2005

A last-minute attempt to shield tribes from the effects of a controversial labor law decision was rejected by a wide margin on Friday.

Rep. J.D. Hayworth (R-Arizona), the Republican co-chair of the Congressional Native American Caucus, sponsored an appropriations rider aimed at imposing a one-year delay to a recent National Labor Relations Board decision. He called the ruling, which overturned 30 years of precedent, a "frontal assault" on tribal sovereignty.

"My colleagues, we would do well to heed the marketing advice: What happens in Vegas stays in Vegas," Hayworth said on the House floor. "What happens on tribal lands with their sovereignty should likewise be governed by the sovereign governments there. Sovereignty is not situational."

But Hayworth faced major opposition from some of the strongest defenders of tribal rights. Rep. Patrick Kennedy (D-Rhode Island), a co-founder of the bipartisan caucus, said the rider was an attempt to embarrass Democrats, who enjoy strong ties to labor unions.

"This process, instead of seeking a solution, only sought headlines. We had an opportunity to make real progress and address the concerns of these tribes," Kennedy charged, referring to efforts to bring tribes and unions together. "Instead of addressing this issue in a substantive manner in committee, we are once again addressing it in a political way on the floor of the House simply for political gain."

A number of other members, including Rep. Dale Kildee (D-Michigan), the co-chair of the caucus, spoke against the amendment, offer to the 2006 Labor/Health and Human Services/Education appropriations bill. In contrast, no one spoke in Hayworth's favor during debate on Friday afternoon.

In 2004, tribes and tribal organizations backed a similar measure that ultimately failed. But they stayed out of the battle this year, fearing the vote would be even worse than last year's.

The concerns were realized when the House voted 256 to 146 to defeat the rider. This was an even greater margin than last year's roll call of 225 to 178.

Furthermore, a number of Democrats who voted in favor of the amendment last year jumped ship on Friday. Only four Democrats -- including freshman Dan Boren of Oklahoma, whose district includes several tribes, and Stephanie Herseth of South Dakota, home to eight reservations -- voted with Hayworth, down from 28 in 2004.

Hayworth also lost the support of a handful of key Republicans, including Rep. Richard Pombo (R-California), the chairman of the House Resources Committee and a strong backer of sovereignty. According to the roll call, 31 members didn't vote.

At issue is a contentious NLRB decision from May 2004. Overruling precedent, the board concluded that tribal governments and their enterprises are subject to federal labor law.

The National Labor Relations Act doesn't mention tribes at all. But the NLRB, in the 3-1 decision, said tribes opened themselves to the law by employing non-Indians and affecting non-Indians.

"As tribal businesses prosper, they become significant employers of non-Indians and serious competitors with non-Indian owned businesses," the board stated. "When Indian tribes participate in the national economy in commercial enterprises, when they employ substantial numbers of non-Indians, and when their businesses cater to non-Indian clients and customers, the tribes affect interstate commerce in a significant way."

In response, Hayworth introduced a bill to outright exempts tribes from the law. H.R.16 has 11 co-sponsors although all but one are Republicans.

The bill was referred to the House Education and Workforce Committee, where it has not been granted a hearing. Kildee, who sits on the panel, said one could be scheduled in the future.

"During my 40 years of public service, I have established a strong record for defending the sovereign rights of Indian tribes. I have often led the fight to defeat legislative riders on appropriation bills because of my confidence in the regular procedures guiding us through the legislative process," he said. "I am committed to finding a permanent solution to this issue, but the appropriations process is not the way to solve this issue."

The appropriations bill debated later passed the chamber by a 250 to 151 vote on Friday. It still needs to be passed by the Senate.

The full text of the Hayworth rider reads as follows:
None of the funds made available in this Act may be used by the National Labor Relations Board to exert jurisdiction over any organization or enterprise pursuant to the standard adopted by the National Labor Relations Board in San Manuel Indian Bingo and Casino and Hotel Employees & Restaurant Employees International Union, AFL-CIO, CLC and Communication Workers of America, AFL-CIO, CLC, Party in Interest, and State of Connecticut, Intervenor, 341 NLRB No. 138 (May 28, 2004).

Floor Debate:
Tribal Labor Law Amendment (June 24, 2005)

Roll Call:
Hayworth of Arizona Amendment No. 14 (June 24, 2005)

Appropriations Bill:
Departments of Labor, Health and Human Services, and Education, and Related Agencies Appropriations Act (H.R.3010)

Labor Law Bill:
Tribal Labor Relations Restoration Act of 2005 (H.R.16)

National Labor Relations Board Decisions:
San Manuel Indian Bingo and Casino | Yukon Kuskokwim Health Corporation

Relevant Links:
National Labor Relations Board - http://www.nlrb.gov

Related Stories:
Fight looms on tribal labor amendment in House (6/27
Republicans sign onto tribal labor law exemption bill (06/13)
California tribe's workers to negotiate union contract (05/05)
Unions turn on each other in tribal sovereignty clash (05/04)
Labor union challenges tribe's Indian preference (12/07)
Federal labor board to hold hearing involving tribe (12/6)
NCAI between 'rock and a hard place' on labor rider (09/13)
Tribal labor amendment fails in House vote (9/13)
Rep. J.D. Hayworth: I told you so! On tribal labor (06/25)
California tribe ponders next move in labor case (6/23)
Court ruling adds to debate over tribal-labor relations (06/14)
Editorial: Unions should be allowed at casinos (6/10)
Labor board ruling draws sharp barbs from tribes (6/9)
Labor board's tribal ruling a surprise to many (6/8)
Board rules tribes subject to labor law (6/4)
Arbiter allows pro-union flyers by tribal employees (03/26)
Pro-union hearing blasts Calif. tribe for sovereignty (03/17)
N.M. tribe seals winning case on labor laws (12/09)
Settlement pending in tribal labor dispute (08/07)
Court denies tribal exemption from labor laws (01/17)
Tribal labor bill draws complaints (04/18)
Pueblo wins sovereignty case (1/14)

Copyright © 2000-2005 Indianz.Com
More headlines...
Local Links:
Federal Register | Indian Gaming | Jobs & Notices | In The Hoop | Message Board
Latest News:
Native Sun News: Oglala student makes name as young writer (4/23)
Mark Trahant: Budget predictions at the Indian Health Service (4/23)
Zoltán Grossman: Cowboy Indian Alliance rides in Washington (4/23)
Gyasi Ross: Stop Keystone XL Pipeline and protect homelands (4/23)
Steve Russell: Indians often seen an obstacle to government (4/23)
Malcolm Benally: Some Navajo leaders clueless on mascots (4/23)
Jacoby Ellsbury makes strong debut with New York Yankees (4/23)
Washington team owner says he 'understands' Indian issues (4/23)
Gathering of Nations ready for annual powwow and pageant (4/23)
Supreme Court allows ban on affirmative action in Michigan (4/23)
Native Sun News: Sisseton Wahpeton fighter gets big chance (4/22)
Native Sun News: Pine Ridge man behind Revolution Couture (4/22)
CDC reports show high death rates among Native Americans (4/22)
DOI Secretary Sally Jewell delivers keynote at tribal summit (4/22)
DOI Deputy Secretary Mike Connor hosts Earth Day webchat (4/22)
Winona LaDuke: Tribes won't see benefits from Keystone XL (4/22)
Photos: Cowboy Indian Alliance rides to National Mall in DC (4/22)
Alray Nelson: Bring marriage equality to the Navajo Nation (4/22)
Steven Newcomb: UNDRIP falls into domination framework (4/22)
DaShanne Stokes: 'Indian' mascots carry harmful impacts (4/22)
Wendell George: Little Joe connects with his tribal heritage (4/22)
Peter Twitchell: Stop passing the buck on our Yup'ik culture (4/22)
Murray Sinclair: Effects of residential school era will linger (4/22)
Wyoming tribes share per cap from $157M trust settlement (4/22)
Navajo Nation Council reconsiders higher tax on junk foods (4/22)
Choctaw Nation Chief Greg Pyle set to retire after 17 years (4/22)
Opinion: Maps represent destruction of Native people in US (4/22)
Oneida Nation to host PGA championship at resort in 2016 (4/22)
Blog: Climate change impacts Tla-o-qui-aht First Nations (4/22)
Supreme Court holding onto ruling in Bay Mills casino case (4/22)
Paskenta Band says leadership issues won't affect casino (4/22)
Forest County Potawatomi Tribe on track with casino hotel (4/22)
Deadline approaches for commercial casinos in New York (4/22)
Native Sun News: Keystone XL Pipeline foes headed to DC (4/21)
Native Sun News: Shoni Schimmel is a role model for youth (4/21)
Senate Indian Affairs Committee to hold hearing on energy (4/21)
Supreme Court takes no action on Indian tobacco petition (4/21)
Linda Capps: Citizen Potawatomi Nation is a good neighbor (4/21)
Bryan Brewer: Supreme Court discriminates against tribes (4/21)
Michell Hicks: Eastern Cherokees return to gardening roots (4/21)
Lisa Charleyboy: Still looking for love under the Indian Act (4/21)
Kiara Imani Williams: Tribal ID dismissed in nation's capital (4/21)
Henry Louis Gates: The myth of African and Indian ancestry (4/21)
DOI looks to spend $2.55M on Makah Nation land buy-back (4/21)
Pascua Yaqui Tribe faces a test of jurisdiction under VAWA (4/21)
State Department needs more time to review Keystone XL (4/21)
Fracking trucks take water from North Dakota reservation (4/21)
Lens Blog: An Indian from India meets Indians from the US (4/21)
Alaska Legislature passes Native language recognition bill (4/21)
more headlines...

Home | Arts & Entertainment | Business | Canada | Cobell Lawsuit | Education | Environment | Federal Recognition | Forum | Health | Humor | Indian Gaming | Indian Trust | Jack Abramoff Scandal | Jobs & Notices | Law | National | News | Opinion | Politics | Sports | Technology | World

Indianz.Com Terms of Service | Indianz.Com Privacy Policy
About Indianz.Com | Advertise on Indianz.Com

Indianz.Com is a product of Noble Savage Media, LLC and Ho-Chunk, Inc.