Organized labor held a State House press conference today to express their opposition to a proposal that would combine labor and business interests into one legislative committee.

 Republican leadership proposed eliminating the Legislature’s Labor Committee and the Business, Research and Economic Development Committee to create a Jobs Committee.

 “To do away with this committee is a testament to how the Republican leadership feels about workers,” said Emery Deabay of Bucksport. “They are telling us workers that we are the one responsible for the economic troubles we face, we are the brakes that stop business development, and we don’t count.”

  In an opinion piece in today’s Kennebec Journal, House Speaker Robert Nutting, R-Oakland, described the move as a “positive first step” to show Mainers that Republicans are “serious about our mission to improve this economy.”

 The Legislature’s 10-member Rules Committee is meeting today to discuss the proposal.