Republicans today introduced two legislative proposals that would protect workers' right to secret ballot union elections and roll back the National Labor Relations Board's (NLRB) micro-union Specialty Healthcare decision. The Subcommittee on Health, Employment, Labor, and Pensions will discuss both proposals during a hearing scheduled for June 26.
"The last thing workers need is special interests and government bureaucrats advancing policies that create division in workplaces and undermine their fundamental freedoms," said House Education and the Workforce Committee Chairman John Kline (R-MN). "The legislation introduced today will protect workers' right to a secret ballot election and end job-destroying micro-unions. Republicans will continue to advance solutions that promote the best interests of America's workers and job creators."
The secret ballot guarantees individuals can vote their conscience, free from pressure or threat of retribution. Union leaders have long tried to promote a "card check' scheme that would deny workers secret ballot union elections. Additionally, the NLRB has promoted policies that would undermine access to secret ballot elections, issuing a decision in 2011 that forces some workers to wait years before casting a secret ballot and examining a proposal to use electronic voting.
Introduced by Health, Employment, Labor, and Pensions Subcommittee Chairman Phil Roe (R-TN), the Secret Ballot Protection Act ensures no one can deny workers the right to vote by secret ballot in union elections.
"As members of Congress, it is our job to prevent any assault on workers' rights," said Rep. Roe. "I believe it's time we permanently strengthen workers' freedoms, and that is why I introduced the Secret Ballot Protection Act. This legislation sides with every American worker because it protects his or her right to a secret ballot during union elections. This has nothing to do with whether you are pro- or anti-union; this is simply about giving workers the protection and freedom they deserve to make the best decision for themselves and their families without fear of retribution."
In addition to undermining access to the secret ballot, the Obama NLRB is enforcing a policy that creates division and discord in workplaces. In its 2011 Specialty Healthcare decision, the board abandoned decades of commonsense labor policies and endorsed the creation of micro-unions. As a result, union bosses are empowered to gerrymander the workplace, employers will be buried in union red tape, and workers will have fewer opportunities to advance in their careers.
Introduced by Representative Tom Price (R-GA) and Senator Johnny Isakson (R-GA), the Representation Fairness Restoration Act will replace the board's micro-union scheme with traditional policies that would encourage greater unity in the workplace.
"In efforts to placate the Obama administration's allies in organized labor, the NLRB has forfeited economic growth and forsaken the American worker," said Rep. Price. "The Representation Fairness Restoration Act would reverse this harmful practice and restore the rights of America's job creators and their employees. Georgia is a right-to-work state because we understand the benefits of creating an environment that fosters job creation and economic growth. Without the Representation Fairness Restoration Act, Georgia and other right-to-work states would be punished by this sweeping federal regulation that seeks only to satiate the interests of organized labor without regard for the welfare of the worker or the rights of the business owner."
"I'm proud to reintroduce the Representation Fairness Restoration Act that reinstates the traditional standard for determining appropriate bargaining units," said Sen. Isakson. "When the NLRB decided to allow micro-unions, they significantly tipped the scales in favor of unions and neglected our nation's long-standing precedents of collective bargaining. This ruling makes it easier for unions to gain access to employees and makes it nearly impossible for employers to manage such fragmentation of their workforce. I will continue to fight this unfair practice, and I thank my colleagues in the House for their support."