Workforce Freedom Initiative | U.S. Chamber of Commerce

Workforce Freedom Initiative

The Workforce Freedom Initiative is a grassroots mobilization and advocacy campaign of the U.S. Chamber of Commerce to preserve democracy in the American workplace, restrain abusive union pension fund activism, and block the anti-competitive agenda advocated by many labor unions.


The National Labor Relations Board (NLRB or Board) engaged in massive regulatory overreach during the Obama administration.  Rather than acting as an impartial referee, the Board aggressively carried out a one-sided agenda aimed at growing labor unions at any cost.  

There is a long list of policies in need of review by the administration, Congress, and new Board members.  Perhaps the most important include:

  • “Micro-unions”: In its Specialty Healthcare decision, the Board threw out decades of precedent regarding what is an “appropriate” bargaining unit. Abandoning the long-established preference for units representing all workers in a class or craft, the NLRB is now rubber stamping virtually any bargaining unit suggested by a union, even “micro” unions made up of just a few workers.
  • Arbitration Agreements:  In D.R. Horton and Murphy Oil, the NLRB has tried to prohibit the use of employment arbitration agreements.  These agreements speed up the resolution of workplace disputes and reduce the need for expensive class action litigation.  However, the Board claims that arbitration agreements violate Section 7 rights to engage in concerted activity.  Such an interpretation of the law is at odds with the Federal Arbitration Act and numerous U.S. Supreme Court decisions. 
  • Redefining “joint employer”:  The NLRB threw out a longstanding standard for determining joint employer status and replaced it with a vague and sweeping definition that makes businesses liable for workplaces they don’t control, and workers they don’t employ.  The Board’s new standard threatens franchise operations as well as employers who have arrangements with subcontractors.​
  • Union “Ambush” Elections: This rule requires employers to turn over to union organizers personal information about their workers, such as phone numbers, e-mail accounts and home addresses.  It also strips employers of their due process rights and makes it harder to respond to a union organizing campaign.  By shortening the time period before an election, it also may prevent employees from getting fully informed about a critical workplace decision like voting for or against a union.

The administration, Congress, and NLRB have an opportunity to curb the one-sided regulatory overreach by the Obama-era Board. 



Recent Activity

ArticleDec 08, 2017 - 10:45am

A New Sheriff at the NLRB

The National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) has a new sheriff in the form of Peter B. Robb, its new General Counsel.

ReportDec 06, 2017 - 12:15am

The Emerging Role of Worker Centers in Union Organizing: An Update and Supplement

In November 2013, the U.S. Chamber of Commerce published a Working Paper, The Emerging Role of Worker Centers in Union Organizing: A Strategic Assessment, which examined the complex relationship between worker centers and traditional labor unions, and delineated the extensive funding of the worker center movement by activist foundations during the period 2009-2012. The present essay reviews that analysis in the light of subsequent developments, and, using data from public filings and reports covering the period 2013-2016, brings forward our examination of the mechanisms by which the labor movement and the philanthropic community support this form of organizing.

ArticleDec 06, 2017 - 12:15am
The Emerging Role of Worker Centers in Union Organizing: An Update and Supplement

The Emerging Role of Worker Centers: An Update

The Workforce Freedom Initiative (WFI) today released a new report titled The Emerging Role of Worker Centers in Union Organizing...

ArticleNov 07, 2017 - 7:00pm
U.S. House of Representatives

House Passes Joint Employer Bill

The U.S. House of Representatives today approved the Save Local Business Act (H.R. 3441)...

ArticleNov 06, 2017 - 10:15am

Calling the Culinary Union’s Bluff

For several years now, observers of labor policy have noted the disruptive activities of UNITE HERE’s Culinary Union in Nevada...

ArticleNov 03, 2017 - 11:00am
Capitol dome at dawn.

So-Called “Better Deal” Labor Proposals Released

On November 1, Democrats in the U.S. Congress released several labor-related proposals as part of their so-called “Better Deal...”

ArticleNov 03, 2017 - 6:00am
WFI International Franchise Association 2017

U.S. Chamber & IFA Ad Campaign: Congress Should Protect Local Businesses

Today, the U.S. Chamber of Commerce and International Franchise Association (IFA) launched an ad campaign urging Congress...

ArticleOct 31, 2017 - 4:00pm

So long, Farewell, Auf Wiedersehen

Many people recognize October 31 for the great tradition of Halloween and the tricks and treats that come with it. This year...

Op EdOct 26, 2017 - 3:45pm

St. Louis Post-Dispatch Op-ed: Restore Common Sense to the Workplace

In Missouri and beyond, businesses stand eager to expand job growth, seek out new opportunities, and in the process, create better prospects for American workers. However, after eight years of Washington, D.C., policies that worked against employers, there’s a lot of regulatory red tape to clear out of the way.

ArticleOct 19, 2017 - 5:00pm
United States Senate

Senate Committee Advances Nominees

The U.S. Senate Committee on Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions on October 18 approved the nominations of several...