June 12, 2017
CONTACT: Ryan Williams


Why Labor Needs Its Own ERA


Heather Greenaway
June 12, 2017
Washington Examiner

The labor landscape has changed a great deal from the days of our parents. Union participation has declined sharply, down to about 10 percent of the workforce.

Yet despite the widespread change in workforce dynamics, there has not been a comprehensive update to American labor laws since 1947, when the U.S. Senate and the House voted to override President Harry Truman’s veto of the Taft-Hartley Act.

There is no question that 1947 is different from 2017. Jackie Robinson debuted with the Brooklyn Dodgers just months prior to Taft-Hartley’s passage. Chuck Yeager did not break the sound barrier for the first time until October of that year.

While wholesale changes to labor law have not taken place, what has changed is that government bureaucrats at the Department of Labor and the National Labor Relations Board have chipped away at the rights of workers and business, handing over more power and influence to union bosses.

Thankfully, there is an opportunity to protect workers against the assault on their rights that has been so pronounced in particular over the last eight years under the previous administration.

Rep. Phil Roe, R-Tenn., has introduced the Employee Rights Act of 2017, which is aimed at giving a say to workers who, through intimidation and abuses of power, have lost their ability to have their voices heard and stand up for themselves.

It is incredibly difficult for union members to vote on whether they want to be represented by an incumbent union at a specific workplace. According to the NLRB, only 7 percent of unionized employees have voted for the union in their workplace. Instead, they were hired into an environment with a well-entrenched collective bargaining unit that has little to no accountability to its members.

Politicians, from the president down to the local dog catcher, all face periodic elections from their constituents. Union bosses, in contrast, do not have to face such scrutiny. The ERA would allow union workplaces to hold periodic secret ballot elections, to ensure voting free from harassment and intimidation, and to confirm members’ support for an incumbent union and any new one that is being organized.

Additionally, large numbers of union members’ voices have been muted during the election season due to the near-monolithic support from union bosses for specific candidates and initiatives. The ERA would simply require that labor bosses obtain approval from their members to spend the money they receive from dues on donations to candidates, parties or advocacy groups.

If Big Labor wants to represent the views of its members, this would allow them to receive input, without forcing anyone to provide monetary contributions to candidates and issues they do not support.

Finally, at the most basic level, union members should be allowed a secret ballot in all elections, particularly when they vote on whether a workplace should be organized. Employees should have the knowledge that they won’t face intimidation or reprisals as they determine the future of their own workplace.

Unfortunately, that is not always the case right now. Union bosses currently can forgo secret ballot elections by “persuading” workers to sign a card indicating that they want to be represented by a union. Then the same bosses pressure companies to accept these agreements in lieu of an actual vote by, for example, threatening a work slowdown.

Instead of a workplace democratically deciding to unionize, the unions use strong-arm tactics to make sure that the workers fall in line. The ERA addresses this by finally requiring a federally supervised, secret ballot election.

In the 21st century, it is clear that the workforce is changing and union representation is dwindling. There needs to be updated legislation for this changing dynamic.

The Employee Rights Act is a common-sense reform to labor laws that will take power away from union bosses and return it to the factory floor. The purpose of labor is to represent the worker, not the boss. And the ERA makes sure that that is the case.

Heather Greenaway is a spokesperson for the Workforce Fairness Institute (WFI).

To access the op-ed, 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:

To schedule an interview with a Workforce Fairness Institute representative, please contact Ryan Williams at (202) 677-7060.


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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