Rep. Noem introduces bill to shield tribes from NLRB decisions

Rep. Kristi Noem (R-South Dakota), a new member of Congress, introduced a bill on Thursday to protect tribes and their businesses from the National Labor Relations Board.

In 2004, the board reversed 30 years of precedent and ruled that the National Labor Relations Act applies on the reservation in certain situations. Even though the law doesn't mention tribes anywhere, the decision said the presence of non-Indian employees or non-Indian consumers could be taken into account to determine whether unions can organize at a tribal business.

"As a matter of sovereignty, the tribes don’t need big labor meddling in their affairs,” Noem said in a press release. “By removing this ambiguity in the law we can promote economic development on tribal land because businesses, large and small, need more certainty before they can grow.”

Prior attempts to clarify tribal sovereignty with respect to labor laws have failed in Congress. Typically, Democrats who might otherwise side with tribes have opposed the effort.

With Republicans in control of the House, Noem's bill could gain greater support. But so far, no Democrats have signed on as co-sponsors to H.R.2335.

Get the Story:
Noem bill targets ruling on tribal sovereignty (The Sioux Falls Argus Leader 6/24)

From the Indianz.Com Archive:
Tribal labor law rider killed by wide margin in House (6/27)
Federal labor board expands jurisdiction over tribes (6/4)

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