CWF Supports the Employee Rights Act

Posted by Olivia Grady on Friday, July 27th, 2018 at 2:33 pm - Permalink

Yesterday, Congressman Phil Roe (R-TN) introduced the Employee Rights Act of 2018 (H.R. 6544). The legislation is co-sponsored by Rep. Joe Wilson (R-SC), Rep. Todd Rokita (R-IN), Rep. Lloyd Smucker (R-PA), Rep. Francis Rooney (R-FL), Rep. Bradley Byrne (R-AL), Rep. Luke Messer (R-IN) and Rep. Jim Banks (R-IN).

The Center for Worker Freedom supports the Employee Rights Act because it protects workers through three ways: secret ballot elections, opt-in requirements and union recertification.

First, the legislation requires that a secret ballot election be held before unions under the National Labor Relations Act (NLRA) are certified as representatives. Secret ballot elections allow workers the opportunity to consider their vote and vote privately. Too often, unions pressure workers into signing cards. If a majority of workers sign these cards, the union can be certified as a representative without a private election. Requiring an election substantially reduces the opportunity for deception and coercion, as well as the possibility that unions and employers might reach an agreement foregoing an election.   

The Employee Rights Act also requires workers to opt in to having their dues used for non collective bargaining costs, i.e. politics. While no worker in non-right-to-work states is supposedly required to pay for union political spending, many employees do not know that they have to opt out to make sure their dues aren’t spent on politics. This part of the bill makes sure that workers are aware of their options.

Finally, the bill requires a union recertification if there is a turnover of a majority of the workers in a bargaining unit. This ensures that current workers actually want to be represented by a union. Today, many workers never voted for the union that represents them, and it’s nearly impossible to decertify a union.

Summarizing what the bill does, Representative Roe said:

“Simply put, the Employee Rights Act of 2018 is about empowering worker choice. This legislation isn’t about whether you are pro- or anti-union; its sole purpose is to ensure union elections are fair and transparent, and that members can hold their leadership accountable. My father was a union member, and as I’ve engaged in conversations with stakeholders across the country, it’s clear we need to restore workers’ rights to repair trust between workers and their representation, and to foster a pro-growth, pro-employee environment. I’m proud to introduce this commonsense legislation.”

In order to protect the rights of workers, all members of Congress should vote for and support this bill.