FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
June 16, 2017
CONTACT: Ryan Williams
IN CASE YOU MISSED IT
It Is Time For Government To Protect Not Threaten American Workers
June 15, 2017
To most observers, the past eight years have been a boon for Big Labor. During the Obama administration, the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) ran over the rights of employees and employers alike. Not only was the timeframe for a union election shortened to as few as 11 days with the ambush election decision, but a historic amount of personal information is now allowed to flow into the hands of union organizers, which has quite predictably led to employee harassment and intimidation.
Thankfully, there are two pieces of legislation that were recently introduced into the Congress that will help correct these workplace issues both caused by the NLRB. The Employee Privacy Protection Act (H.R. 2775) and Workforce Democracy and Fairness Act (H.R. 2776) will help give workers back their privacy and freedom to vote their conscience in fair union elections.
The NLRB’s decision to allow a significantly shorter timeframe for union elections tipped the scales toward labor organizers who were then able to quietly plan and secure support ambushing workers and businesses with an election.
This gave employers as few as 11 days to prepare their side, and present to their employees the pros and cons of unionization. With management in businesses – many of whom are small with dozens of employees – having such little time to prepare, their workers are not able to hear legitimate concerns that could materially impact their decision whether or not to support the formation of a collective bargaining unit.
Further, the NLRB’s ruling in 2011 in Specialty Healthcare allowing for the formation of so-called micro-unions was especially egregious. Micro-unions are disruptive to workplaces, make it harder for employers to run their businesses and place immense pressure on workers. Just as bad, the policy does not require labor organizers to win elections with the majority of the workforce favoring the formation of a collective bargaining unit; instead, union organizers are allowed to hand-pick and sort sub-groups of employees predisposed to be favorable to representation.
Beyond handing control over the labor organizing process to union bosses, the NLRB has overstepped its bounds by forcing employers to disclose large amounts of personal employee information to organizers. The NLRB is now mandating that employers take worker information, which was provided with an understanding it would be protected and used should notifications be warranted under circumstances such as a workplace emergencies, and send it to labor organizers, without ever needing employee approval.
While it is deeply troubling that our government is forcing employers to share personal information such as employee names, work schedules and locations, email addresses, home addresses, and phone numbers, it has far more wide-ranging consequences. By giving union organizers this information, the government is virtually sanctioning worker intimidation and harassment on the part of labor organizers who show up at homes seeking a signature for union authorization cards.
Taken together, H.R 2775 and H.R. 2776 would end the government overreach into workplaces hurting employees and tipping the scales in favor of union bosses. The Employee Privacy Protection Act would give employees the ability to control what private information is disclosed to unions and which method is preferred for communicating. The Workforce Democracy and Fairness Act would extend the amount of time that an organizing election could take place allowing all parties involved to present their side, while restoring the traditional standard regarding what constitutes a bargaining unit.
It is past time Congress show American workers they are on their side and these two bills are important steps in that direction. Both demand expedited attention and passage in the U.S. House.
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: https://www.workforcefairness.com.
To schedule an interview with a Workforce Fairness Institute representative, please contact Ryan Williams at (202) 677-7060.