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Republican bill targets unions’ power (Read More…)

By SEAN HIGGINS
7/26/15

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 Today, these outdated laws allow unaccountable union bosses to hinder growth and disregard employees’ rights.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.

The legislation would be a severe blow to the labor movement’s financial and political clout since it draws a substantial part of its funding from workers who are obligated to support it even if they don’t want to join a union.
The two lawmakers had sponsored the same bill in several previous Congresses but it got little traction, never getting out of committee in the Democrat-led Senate. With the GOP now in control of Congress, the measure has a chance to land on President Obama’s desk.

It is nevertheless unlikely to become law. Obama would be certain to veto it, and there isn’t enough support to override him. But it could force the first major congressional debate on labor rights in decades.
The National Labor Relations Act, the main federal law governing private-sector unions, generally assumes that unions are synonymous with workers and thus gives individual employees who dissent little say in workplace matters.
The Employees Rights Act attempts to change that, limiting the power a union has over workers who do not wish to join it. To its fans, it is about ensuring individual rights.

“This legislation would give workers more control over their working conditions,” said James Sherk, labor policy analyst for the conservative Heritage Foundation. “Workers — not union officers — would have greater influence over how collective bargaining operates in their workplaces.”

 

Posted by Admin on 07/27 at 03:13 PM
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