WASHINGTON, D.C. | November 30, 2011
In recent months, the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) has been working to implement sweeping changes to federal labor policies that undermine the rights of employers and employees. In an effort to roll back the NLRB’s activist agenda, Republicans are advancing the Workforce Democracy and Fairness Act (H.R. 3094) to restore key protections workers and employers have enjoyed for decades. Unfortunately, the board’s allies are turning to fear and misinformation in an effort to discredit this sensible response to the board’s radical actions. The House Education and the Workforce Committee is determined to separate the myths from the facts.
Myth: The Workforce Democracy and Fairness Act allows employers to gerrymander the workplace.
Fact: Union leaders have long sought to organize smaller groups or “units” of employees as an incremental step toward organizing an entire workplace.The NLRB’s recent Specialty Healthcare decision abandoned almost 30 years of labor policy to make it easier for union leaders to accomplish this goal.
Fact: As former NLRB chairman Peter Schaumber recently noted, federal law expects the unit of employees to be “as large as all the employees” who work for the employer. Congress has explicitly stated that the group of employees preferred by the union cannot be the controlling factor when the board determines the appropriate unit for representation.
Fact: On behalf of their Big Labor allies, the board seized upon a routine case to impose sweeping changes on the nation’s workforce. The Specialty decision will allow the board to approve virtually any unit of employees sought by the union, empowering union leaders to manipulate the workplace for their own gain. The result is a fragmented workforce, increased conflict among coworkers, less freedom for employees, and higher labor costs for employers.
Fact: At an Education and the Workforce Committee oversight hearing, former NLRB regional director Curtis Mack stated the board’s decision “will give unions the ability to organize multiple small collective bargaining units within one facility, Balkanizing the business and making it impossible for an employer to make hiring, promotion and transfer decisions. Costs will increase as the employer is forced to deal with multiple unions. This ability to carve out small units will adversely affect or perhaps completely eliminate opportunities for employees to advance in the workplace or learn new skills.”
Fact: Congress has a responsibility to ensure federal policies don’t stand in the way of employers’ ability to effectively manage their businesses or deny workers the chance to pursue new opportunities in the workplace.
Fact: The Workforce Democracy and Fairness Act restores the traditional standard for determining which unit of employees will participate in the election, encouraging more certainty and freedom in the workplace for employees and job-creators.
Unfortunately, this is not the only myth propagated by those who support the NLRB’s effort to undermine employers’ free speech and workers’ free choice. Stay tuned for more releases that help set the record straight.
To learn more about the Workforce Democracy and Fairness Act, click here.
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