By SEAN HIGGINS
Republican lawmakers are taking aim at organized labor by re-introducing legislation this week to strictly limit union power to force dues from workers who oppose the union’s political agenda.
The Employee Rights Act, scheduled to be introduced Monday by Sen. Orrin Hatch, R-Utah, and Rep. Tom Price, R-Ga., also includes several changes to the election rules for private-sector workplace organizing, making it harder for unions to win — and hold onto — recognition without genuine majority support from workers.
“Our economy has undergone a significant transformation over recent years, as innovation and technological development have fundamentally reshaped the American workplace. Despite these fast-moving changes, Congress last overhauled our labor laws more than 50 years ago. Today, these outdated laws allow unaccountable union bosses to hinder growth and disregard employees’ rights. That’s why I’m introducing the Employee Rights Act, which includes a number of important reforms,” Hatch told the Washington Examiner.
By Dave McNary - July 16, 2015
SAG¬AFTRA has amped up its 3¬ month ¬old campaign against performing work in the fast ¬growing non¬union commercial sector.
Dubbed the Commercials Organizing and Recapture Initiative, the campaign aims to expand the jurisdiction of the performers’ union over commercials work, which currently generates $1 billion annually in performer earnings covered by the union’s contract with the ad industry.
The union has held five town-¬hall meetings with members, including a pair this week in Los Angeles. Thanks to information sent in by members, SAGAFTRA caught 40 non¬union commercials being produced by advertisers already signed to the commercials contracts — and turned all of those into union commercials, according to chief contracts officer Ray Rodriguez.
Rodriguez told Variety that the campaign has clearly raised awareness among members. “We’ve improved our information¬ gathering system,” he added.
Lori Hunt, the union’s national director of commercial contracts, added, “Many of them are national advertisers who have farmed out the spots to non¬union producers.”
SAG¬AFTRA also disclosed in a recent message to members that more than a dozen members were referred to the SAG¬AFTRA Legal Department for Global Rule 1 disciplinary proceedings based on evidence gathered as part of this organizing initiative.
“Disciplinary charges are heard and decided by committees of fellow SAGAFTRA members,” the message noted. “Consequences for working off the card include fines, suspension and expulsion from the union.”
Union officials did not elaborate, noting that policy prevents them from commenting on disciplinary matters.