Workforce Freedom Initiative | Page 2 | 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.  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.



Recent Activity

ArticleAug 07, 2017 - 12:45pm
United Auto Workers logo

UAW Strikes Out in Mississippi

In an election held on August 3 and 4, the United Auto Workers (UAW) lost a bid to represent employees at Nissan’s plant...

ArticleAug 03, 2017 - 8:00am

Kaplan Confirmed to NLRB

On Wednesday, August 2, the U.S. Senate confirmed Marvin Kaplan to serve on the National Labor Relations Board...

Op EdJul 28, 2017 - 4:00pm

Hattiesburg American Op-ed: UAW knows how to play election games: Column

Co-authored with Scott Waller, interem president and CEO of the Mississippi Economic Council 

ArticleJul 27, 2017 - 10:00am
Wet floor sign reads: "Caution: Vague joint employer standard"

Joint Employer Legislation Introduced

On June 27, a bipartisan group of legislators introduced the “Save Local Business Act (SLBA)” to address the controversial joint employer...

Issue BriefJul 21, 2017 - 10:30am

Protect Employment Arbitration Agreements

The Trump administration, with new appointees at the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB or Board), can end the Obama Board’s years-long war on class action waivers and reaffirm the legality of arbitration agreements in employment contracts. Congress can also pass legislation that would prevent a future Board from once again trying to outlaw arbitration agreements...

Issue BriefJul 21, 2017 - 9:30am

State Labor Law Reforms

Policy discussions on labor and employment issues in Washington, D.C., have frequently been contentious, and in recent years many significant legislative proposals have become mired in gridlock. The result is that some state and even local governments have begun taking up labor and employment law reforms on their own...

Issue BriefJul 21, 2017 - 9:30am

Eliminate ‘Micro Unions’ and Restore Appropriate Bargaining Units

The Trump administration, with new appointees at the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB or Board), should reverse the Obama-era Specialty Healthcare decision that allowed non-majority or “micro unions” in the workplace. Congress should also amend the National Labor Relations Act to adopt the pre-Specialty Healthcare standard for determining collective bargaining units...

ArticleJul 20, 2017 - 5:15pm
U.S. Capitol dome seen through the U.S. Capitol Visitor Center.

House Committee Passes DOL, NLRB Appropriations Bill

On July 19, the U.S. House of Representatives Appropriations Committee approved the Labor, Health and Human Services, and Education...

Op EdJul 20, 2017 - 5:00pm

Reno Gazette-Journal: Nevadans should read fine print of minimum wage plan: Glenn Spencer

On June 8, Gov. Brian Sandoval vetoed legislation that would have raised Nevada’s minimum wage as high as $12 an hour.  

ArticleJul 19, 2017 - 5:00pm

House Committee Holds Joint Employer Hearing

On July 12, the House Committee on Education and the Workforce held a hearing to examine the expanded definition of joint employment...