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.

A FRESH CHANCE TO RESTORE BALANCE TO THE NLRB

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.  The agency is badly in need of reform.

There is a long list of policies in need of review by the new administration, a new 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 new administration, Congress, and NLRB have a fresh opportunity to curb the one-sided regulatory overreach by the Obama-era Board.  This is an agency in need of reform and redirection.

 

 

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