FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
July 24, 2017
CONTACT: Ryan Williams
202-677-7060

 IN CASE YOU MISSED IT

 The GOP’s Labor Project

How Congress Can Protect Worker Rights From Union Coercion

Editorial
July 21, 2017
The Wall Street Journal

With health care consuming most of Congress’s bandwidth, Republicans may need to multi-task to achieve other legislative successes this session. Perhaps they could start with reforms to U.S. labor law.

The 1935 National Labor Relations Act hasn’t undergone substantive revisions in 70 years, while the U.S. Constitution has been amended six times. Congress has traditionally deferred to the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) to interpret labor law, but Barack Obama’s appointees demonstrated the need to safeguard worker rights in statute as they rigged the rules to favor unions.

House Republicans have now introduced an Employee Rights Act partly modeled on state reforms. In the last Congress 137 House Members and 33 Senators co-sponsored similar legislation, which never moved because Mr. Obama had the veto pen. Now they have an ally in the White House.

The House bill would require unions to obtain permission from workers to spend their dues on purposes other than collective bargaining. Current labor law lets unions deduct money from worker paychecks to fund political activities. Workers then must go through the tortuous process of requesting a refund for the share not spent on collective bargaining, which unions may broadly define to include member engagement that boosts voter turnout. No other political outfit enjoys this fundraising fillip.

Democrats oppose an opt-in requirement because they know many workers won’t voluntarily endorse a portion of their paychecks to fund political spending with which they disagree. Exit polls last year showed that 43% of union households voted for Republicans while Democrats received 86% of labor financial support. An opt-in rule could improve political accountability within unions.

Another problem is that only 7% of currently unionized employees voted for their union, according to Bureau of Labor Statistics and NLRB data. Many workforces have turned over completely since their unions were certified. Yet decertifying a union is an arduous process made more difficult by the Obama NLRB.

The House bill would mandate a recertification election upon the expiration of a collective-bargaining agreement if a workforce has turned over by more than 50%. In 2011 Wisconsin passed legislation requiring annual recertification elections for public unions. Membership has since dropped by half as many workers have decided that the costs of belonging exceed the benefits.

Unions sometimes coerce workers into signing cards and then bully employers—for instance, by threatening a public assault on their brand—into recognizing the card checks in lieu of holding secret-ballot elections. The bill would protect workers and employers from union intimidation by taking card-check off the menu of options. It would also allow employees to withhold their personal contact information from unions.

Republicans might not be able to get the 60 votes in the Senate to overcome a filibuster, but they could break up the legislation into bite-sized pieces that could be attached to spending bills. Most provisions poll well and can be easily explained to voters. Let’s see who in Congress will vote to protect workers from coercion.

To access the editorial, click here.

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.

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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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