Labor Pains: Because Being in a Union can be Painful

Worker Freedom is Under Attack

Last week was National Employee Freedom Week — a time dedicated to empowering workers and informing them of their choices when it comes to union membership.

Unfortunately, employee choice is under threat by Congress and the Biden Administration. As Vincent Vernuccio and Charlyce Bozzello highlight in a recent opinion piece in the Washington Examiner, President Biden’s National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) is trying to enact parts of the harmful Protecting the Right to Organize Act (PRO Act). The bill would would “allow unions to get private sector workers fired if they decline to join a union and would have stripped away safeguards protecting workers’ privacy and choice.”

The PRO Act would essentially eliminate the secret ballot vote in union elections, opting instead for the union-backed “card check” method of organizing. But card checks open workers up to intimidation, coercion and bullying. That’s not to mention that unions aren’t even required to explain to workers what exactly they’re signing up for when they sign a union card. Workers may believe signing simply means requesting more information on the union, or merely showing interest. In truth, it means they are formally accepting the union to represent them in the workplace.

While the PRO Act is likely dead in the water — at least for now — the NLRB wants to make at least some its provisions a reality. NLRB general counsel, Jennifer Abruzzo, has signaled that she wants to make card checks the law of the land — kicking the secret ballot vote to the curb for good. She and her Big Labor allies know the union business model is failing. Card checks make it easier for unions to coerce workers into their outdated one-size-fits-all bargaining approach.

But hope is far from lost. Vernuccio and Bozzello note that “voters in five states have approved constitutional amendments protecting workers’ right to a secret ballot election to decide union representation.” At the federal level, Sen. Tim Scott (R-SC) introduced the Employee Rights Act earlier this year, a bill that would protect private sector workers’ right to choose union representation through a secret ballot election, in addition to other provisions.

Categories: NLRBPRO Act