By Jonathan D. Salant
Note: Portions of this article were reprinted from NJ.com. To read the entire article, visit the following link:
WASHINGTON — While House Republicans continue to repeal consumer, safety and environmental regulations enacted in the closing months of President Barack Obama’s administration, two New Jersey Republicans recently dissented from their colleagues.
Reps. Frank LoBiondo (R-2nd Dist.) and Chris Smith (R-4th Dist.), two of the three House Republicans most friendly to organized labor, opposed repealing a regulation by the Occupational Safety and Health Administration making it easier to track workplace injuries.
Just six Republicans voted no on the resolution, which passed, 231-191.
Of the three House Republicans who voted against overturning regulations designed to speed up union organizing elections, two were from New Jersey.
LoBiondo “evaluates bills based on their importance and impact to the people he represents, not by which political party authors it,” chief of staff Jason Galanes said. “Congressman LoBiondo has always and will always put South Jersey first.”
The rule, enacted in response to a court decision, clarified that companies needed to keep records of injuries and illnesses for five years.
“Whether a woman or man works in a factory, warehouse, office suite — or any other workplace — they and their families should be assured that every possible threat and hazard is mitigated,” Smith said.
Smith (R-4th Dist.) has a lifetime 61 percent favorable voting record by the AFL-CIO, tops among House Republicans, and LoBiondo (R-2nd Dist.) is tied with Rep. John Katko (R-N.Y.) for third with 54 percent. Second was Rep. Dan Donovan (R-N.Y.) with 56 percent.
Both Smith and LoBiondo have sided with organized labor against other Republican measures, such as a 2015 effort to overturn federal regulations making it easier for workers to organize.
LoBiondo supported airline unions who unsuccessfully tried to block Norwegian Air International from flying to the U.S., claiming its business model violated labor protections.