Republican lawmakers are challenging the National Labor Relations Board with two new pieces of legislation.
House Health, Employment, Labor, and Pensions Subcommittee Chairman Phil Roe (R-TN) introduced the Secret Ballot Protection Act designed to ensure no one can deny workers the right to vote by secret ballot in union elections.
The bill aims to prohibit any so-called “card check” elections, workplace organizing by what amounts to a public petition, even if management agreed to them.
“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 the secret ballot legislation, Representative Tom Price (R-GA) and Senator Johnny Isakson (R-GA) have introduced the Representation Fairness Restoration Act. This legislation would reverse the NLRB’s ruling that allows unions to organize particular sections of a workplace rather than the whole business.
“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.”
The two bills are largely symbolic in nature; even if the bills pass the House, it is doubtful the legislation would pass the Senate.