With House Passage, Time For Senate To Act On Labor Legislation

Fred Wszolek
December 5, 2011

Last week, the U.S. House passed the Workforce Democracy and Fairness Act, legislation which reins in the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB). With a 235-188 bipartisan vote, the message was sent to President Obama that his unelected bureaucrats are not doing the bidding of Big Labor bosses without Congress stepping in and acting.

Now that the House has spoken, it is time for the U.S. Senate to do the same. With all the talk on Capitol Hill about jobs and economic recovery, Senators have a chance to put their money where their mouth is by supporting legislation which will disallow job-killing mandates such as “quickie” or “ambush” elections and the formation of “micro-units” (collective bargaining units with as few as two or three people that will splinter the workforce and were only created for the purpose of allowing union bosses to gain a foothold in a business).

With so many targeted Senate races in 2012, a vote in the upper chamber on the Workforce Democracy and Fairness Act would be consequential in that it would allow citizens to know whether their Senators seeking re-election have placed their interests above labor’s. Also, with passage, the legislation would be sent to President Obama forcing him to make clear whether his economic intentions are genuine or nothing more than rhetoric. While I have little doubt both Obama and some of Big Labor’s supporters in the Senate would turn their backs on workers and small businesses as they seek big dollar donations from union bosses, it would be useful to get them on the record once and for all.

The arguments against common sense legislation, namely the Workforce Democracy and Fairness Act, are hard to come by. Obama’s labor board has proposed shortening the window for union elections from a median time of 38 days to as little as 10. The rule is anti-worker and anti-business. It would deprive the employer of a meaningful opportunity to express its views on unionization, and its employees the right to hear those views and make an informed choice. Due to the massive volume of comments the NLRB has received in opposition to this rule change they are seeking to jam through a variation of it, but the end result is largely the same, forcing workers into unions.

It’s amazing to think that the same politicians who go out and seek votes saying both sides should have the opportunity to make their arguments heard before Election Day would consider relinquishing that same basic right from employees and employers.

At its core, the Workforce Democracy and Fairness Act ensures that free speech of both workers and businesses are maintained and unionization is not crammed down our throats in an effort to fatten Big Labor’s coffers.

Secondly, the House-passed bill will ensure that NLRB-approved “micro-units” are not allowed to be formed as they would create a proliferation of units, which would balkanize an employer with multiple interest groups represented by different unions with different goals. The result would be work stoppages and employees drawn into disputes in which they have no interest. The multiplicity of units would dramatically increase an employer’s labor relations costs as it would have to negotiate and apply multiple collective bargaining agreements.

It is virtually impossible to argue with any intellectual honesty that either “quickie” elections or “micro-units” would create a single job. Instead, they would place additional burdens on businesses resulting in lost jobs and closures.

Therefore, job creators must not be shy about pressing leaders in the Senate to demonstrate whether they support policies that encourage economic growth and investment or whether their political allegiance rests with Big Labor and their campaign dollars. There is no middle ground here and we hope the U.S. Senate will send a very clear message to Americans which takes precedence.


Tell Congress: Stop the PRO Act

WFI is working to prevent passage of the so-called Protecting the Right to Organize Act (PRO Act)—a wholesale labor reform package that takes the current careful balance of labor rules and tips it greatly in the favor of labor bosses and forced collective bargaining.

The PRO Act robs workers of the right to a secret ballot to form a union, forces union contracts on workers without a vote of approval, and expose workers’ personal contact information to union bosses seeking to organize a workplace. And that’s just the start.

Help us speak out against this woefully misguided and blatantly anti-worker legislation. Review and send the message below to your members of Congress today.

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WFI Key Vote Letter: Opposition to PRO Act

— 02.10.2020 —
Dear Speaker Pelosi and Minority Leader McCarthy: On behalf of the Workforce Fairness Institute (WFI), I am writing to share our organization’s vehement opposition to H.R. 2474, the Protecting the Right to Organize Act (PRO Act). WFI has serious concerns with the broad, overreaching nature of this legislation and the many ways in which it would undermine worker freedom and privacy, while simultaneously threatening businesses and entire industries that keep America’s economy thriving. Please note that WFI will include votes on the PRO Act and its amendments on our Congressional Labor Scorecard, which scores and ranks legislators based on their activity associated with workplace issues. WFI was established to fight for American employees and employers as well as our entire economy. We believe in worker empowerment, the right of workers to be fully informed of the options available for worker-involvement in the workplace, and the right to freely choose whether to organize or not. No individual or group – government, a union or an employer – should be able to intimidate or restrict workers’ in exercising these rights. In an attempt to boost flailing union membership at the expense of workers’ rights, the PRO Act would upend decades of established U.S. labor law and institute myriad anti-employee and anti-employer policies that have already been soundly rejected—by Congress, various federal agencies, or the courts. Among its most blatant affronts to workers’ rights, the PRO Act would eliminate the right to a secret ballot when determining whether to unionize and enforce a “card check” system, exposing workers to the potential for harassment, intimidation, and coercion. The PRO Act would also enforce binding arbitration in union negotiations by a government- appointed bureaucrat; repeal and eliminate right-to-work laws in 27 states, force workers to fund union activities regardless of whether they support them; and threaten the ability of individuals to operate as independent contractors, eliminating traditional economic and employment opportunities and threatening the independence and flexibility of the emerging gig economy. On top of all that, the PRO Act would force all workers’ personal and home contact information to be provided to a union during organizing campaigns – in an electronic, searchable format no less, with no limit on what a union can do with that information. WFI believes in advancing sensible policies that protect and preserve the rights of both employees and employers, and we welcome the opportunity to work with legislators who also support these efforts. However, the PRO Act does not achieve these goals and would instead threaten the rights of both while jeopardizing our entire economy. WFI urges members of the House to strongly oppose the PRO Act. Sincerely, Heather Greenaway Executive Director Workforce Fairness Institute See the letter here.
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