FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
September 7, 2017
CONTACT: Ryan Williams
The Honorable Tim Walberg
Subcommittee on Health, Employment, Labor and Pensions
Committee on Education and the Workforce
2436 Rayburn House Office Building
Washington, D.C. 20515
Dear Chairman Walberg,
On behalf of the Workforce Fairness Institute (WFI), an organization devoted to educating workers, their employers, employees and citizens about issues affecting the workplace, I would like to thank you and Representative Scott Perry for championing an amendment to H.R. 3354, the Department of the Interior, Environment, and Related Agencies Appropriations Act, 2018, that would prohibit funds from being used to support an anti-worker and job-killing policy from the Obama-era National Labor Relations Board (NLRB). The conclusions reached by the previous Board, including the “ambush election” rule, “micro-union” decision and new joint-employer standard, were little other than a handout to unions bosses at the expense of employees and employers.
Among the many decisions reached by President Obama’s NLRB that benefited Big Labor, the “ambush election” ruling was particularly egregious. By making it possible for union organizers to hold elections in as few as 11 days, government acted in favor of union bosses and stripped small business owners of any meaningful opportunity to inform their workers about the consequences of unionization. Forming a collective bargaining unit is a serious decision and employees deserve the time to fully understand the process and how it will impact their livelihoods. Thanks to your amendment to H.R. 3354, there is now hope that ambush elections will come to an end.
Before the NLRB’s decision to create a pathway for “micro-unions,” labor was expected to organize a majority of employees in a workplace. With fewer and fewer workers deciding to organize, Obama’s so-called independent agency simply decided to change the rules in Specialty Healthcare and Rehabilitation Center of Mobile. This decision created a new standard for determining the make-up of bargaining units for a union certification election and the implications were devastating. The authorization of micro-unions allowed labor bosses to gerrymander workplaces allowing small groups even sub-groups of employees to form collective bargaining units. While this ruling undoubtedly advanced labor’s agenda, it radically changed decades of established labor law. This egregious misuse of power demands action and we are very pleased that this legislation blocks enforcement of the micro-union decision.
As you know, the NLRB’s misguided and new joint-employer standard has been extremely harmful to workers and businesses alike. Before this new standard, businesses were only liable for employment violations that occurred in workplaces under their “direct control.” By enforcing a new standard, the liability was expanded to workplaces under their “indirect control,” meaning a business or company could be found liable in a variety of new and different scenarios, such as when it contracted work to a separate entity. This rule has upended the franchise industry making employers liable for workplace violations in separate and independent locations that are responsible for setting their own hours and labor policies. Language to make certain this erroneous NLRB policy will not be able to move forward is a meaningful step toward restoring balance in American workplaces.
Employees and employers need greater certainty in a tumultuous time, including confidence their elected officials are committed to crafting policies that are pro-worker, pro-hiring and pro-growth. By advancing legislation that sidelines ambush elections, micro-unions and new joint-employer standard, you are sending a powerful signal that your subcommittee, the Committee on Education and the Workforce Committee, and U.S. House intend to send a strong message to agencies advancing interests other than those of workers and job creators.
WFI strongly supports your actions and encourages members of the House, regardless of their political affiliation, to support the effort to rein in policies that hurt our employees and employers.
Workforce Fairness Institute
The Workforce Fairness Institute is an organization committed to educating voters, employers, employees and citizens about issues affecting the workplace. To learn more, please visit: https://www.workforcefairness.com.
To schedule an interview with a Workforce Fairness Institute representative, please contact Ryan Williams at (202) 677-7060.