Workforce Fairness Institute Reacts To 2018 Labor, Health & Human Services, Education Appropriations Bill

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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE                                                CONTACT: Ryan Williams

July 20, 2017                                                                                                      202-677-7060

 

Workforce Fairness Institute Reacts To 2018 Labor, Health & Human Services, Education Appropriations Bill
Blocking New Joint Employer Standard & Micro-Unions Is Good Step Forward; Inability To Stop Ambush Elections Missed Opportunity

Washington, D.C. – Workforce Fairness Institute (WFI) spokesperson Heather Greenaway released the following statement today reacting to developments surrounding the FY 2018 Labor, HHS, Education Appropriations bill:

“It is a positive development for America’s employees and employers that the bill funding the National Labor Relations Board will prevent the job-killing new joint employer standard, as well as the deeply flawed micro-union decision.  The new joint employer standard upended decades of labor law through the Browning-Ferris ruling and created a new standard where liability was expanded to businesses that did not have direct purview over workplace employees.  Just as bad, the Specialty Healthcare decision completely altered the standard for determining the makeup of a collective bargaining unit giving union bosses the ability to organize small subsets of employees known as micro-unions.  Unfortunately though, an opportunity was missed to address the board’s decision to condense the union organizing election timeframe giving workers and businesses as few as 11 days to prepare.  Going forward, the collection of these issues demands the continued attention of lawmakers as they threaten jobs and discourage employers from engaging confidently in our economy and in manner that benefits all Americans.”

The Workforce Fairness Institute is an organization committed to educating voters, employers, employees and citizens about issues affecting the workplace.  To learn more, please visit: http://www.workforcefairness.com.

To schedule an interview with a Workforce Fairness Institute representative, please contact Ryan Williams at (202) 677-7060.

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ICYMI: Congress Starts To Roll Back Damage Done By Unions Under Obama

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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE                                                CONTACT: Ryan Williams
July 19, 2017                                                                                                       202-677-7060

IN CASE YOU MISSED IT

Congress Starts To Roll Back Damage Done By Unions Under Obama

Heather Greenaway
July 18, 2017
The Washington Examiner

The National Labor Relations Board saw many victories in its crusade against employee and employer rights under the Obama administration. Big Labor bosses shortened the timeframe for a union election to an unprecedented 11 days, while also forcing businesses to hand over troves of their workers’ personal information. This senseless condensed organizing election timeline and data collection effort has led to employee harassment at the hands of union organizers.

While there is hope the NLRB’s campaign against employees and employers will cease now that President Trump has named his nominees to the board, the House Committee on Education and the Workforce has taken major steps to roll back the agency’s misguided actions.

By approving the Employee Privacy Protection Act (H.R. 2775) and the Workforce Democracy and Fairness Act (H.R. 2776), introduced by Reps. Joe Wilson, R-S.C., and Tim Walberg, R-Mich., respectively, workers’ rights to protect their privacy and freedom to cast informed votes in union elections will be restored once again.

The NLRB’s decision to shorten the timeframe for union elections has had significant effects on employees and employers alike. This rule has allowed union organizers to quietly garner support for unionization, then ambush businesses with elections shortly thereafter. This gives employers a mere 11 days to prepare their arguments and inform employees about the consequences of unionization. With businesses having such little time to prepare, workers are unable to hear both sides of the story which affects their ability to make a decision on a matter that will have a dramatic impact on their day-to-day lives.

In addition to weaponizing the union election process under Obama, the NLRB also decided to force employers to hand over vast amounts of workers’ personal information. The mandate forces businesses to turn over information that workers disclosed assuming it would not be shared with the government, but used in the event of an emergency. Now, Big Labor bosses gain access to the data without a hint of employee approval and use it to intimidate workers into forming collective bargaining units.

Although it seems hard to believe that the government would force employers to disclose employees’ personal information, the decision has real-life, practical implications, including union organizers using employee contact information to ambush workers at their homes and coerce them into signing union authorization cards.

It is clear the NLRB has operated as an outside arm of labor bosses seeking to advance their agenda while stripping away the rights of workers and businesses. Thankfully, the Employee Privacy Protection Act and the Workforce Democracy and Fairness Act have been approved in committee and are on their way to a full vote in the House. H.R. 2775 would restore workers’ rights to control what personal information about them is shared during union organizing efforts, and H.R. 2776 would ensure a reasonable timeframe for labor elections of 35 days is maintained, allowing all parties involved to gain information and make an informed decision.

Big Labor’s expansion of power and influence under the Obama administration is now being reversed on two fronts: new board members whose nominations will soon receive votes in the Senate so they can get to work, and Congress enacting — starting with H.R. 2775 and 2776 — important steps toward restoring the balance of power in America’s workplaces, placing power back in the hands of workers and job creators.

Heather Greenaway is a spokesperson for the Workforce Fairness Institute.

To access the op-ed, click here.

The Workforce Fairness Institute is an organization committed to educating voters, employers, employees and citizens about issues affecting the workplace.  To learn more, please visit: http://www.workforcefairness.com.

To schedule an interview with a Workforce Fairness Institute representative, please contact Ryan Williams at (202) 677-7060.

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Workforce Fairness Institute Issues Statement Concerning National Labor Relations Board Nomination Hearings

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Workforce Fairness Institute Issues Statement Concerning National Labor Relations Board Nomination Hearings
Time For Posturing Has Ended & Time For Restoring Workplace Balance Has Arrived

Washington, D.C. – Workforce Fairness Institute (WFI) spokesperson Heather Greenaway released the following statement today in response to the U.S. Senate Committee on Health, Education, Labor and Pensions (HELP) undertaking hearings for Marvin Kaplan and William Emanuel to the National Labor Relations Board:

“The work being undertaken by the Senate labor committee with respect to the nominations of Marvin Kaplan and William Emanuel to the National Labor Relations Board could not be more important.  For nearly one decade, this so-called independent agency has operated as an arm of Big Labor rendering decisions and rulings that have undone decades of legal precedent, while punishing employees and employers.  With a fully functional board, including Kaplan and Emanuel, balance can finally be restored to workplaces and the taxpayer-funded handouts to union bosses will end.  Both Kaplan and Emanuel are eminently qualified for the posts and it is our hope the Senate undertakes its constitutional role of advice and consent judiciously, but without undue delay so that workers and small businesses can have confidence their government plays a constructive not corrosive role in American workplaces.”

The Workforce Fairness Institute is an organization committed to educating voters, employers, employees and citizens about issues affecting the workplace.  To learn more, please visit: http://www.workforcefairness.com.

To schedule an interview with a Workforce Fairness Institute representative, please contact Ryan Williams at (202) 677-7060.

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ICYMI: Return Power To Union Members

WFI

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE                                                CONTACT: Ryan Williams
July 6, 2017                                                                                                        202-677-7060

IN CASE YOU MISSED IT

Return Power To Union Members

Editorial
July 4, 2017
The Detroit News

Unions should serve the interests of the employees, but too often union leadership ignores the members they are supposed to serve to pursue power and influence. Legislation in Congress could change this, and it has a good chance of passing.

The Employee Rights Act would protect workers from union leadership abuses through eight employee reforms that put the workers first, including secret ballot elections, paycheck protection and union recertification. These reforms would help shift the balance of power, returning it to the employees.

“All workers should be able to privately decide which organizations they wish to join, said U.S. Rep. John Moolenaar, R-Midland, a co-sponsor of the ERA, in an email. “The Employee Rights Act makes that possible by ensuring all Americans enjoy the right to a secret ballot in the workplace.”

Measures to reform labor law, like the ERA, are seeing an unprecedented amount of support. For decades, the status quo has remained untouched, allowing the labor unions to empower union leadership while depriving workers of several basic rights and protections.

Labor unions want to extend their reach, and to do this they need more dues-paying members. As a result, many employees find themselves with union representation they never asked for. According to ERA supporters, less than 7 percent of union members voted for the union that now represents them.

The ERA would require union recertification, which would require every unionized workplace to regularly stand for re-election so employees can determine whether they want to continue to be represented by an incumbent union.

As it exists, the system allows unions to stay in place indefinitely unless workers petition for a decertification vote. This rarely happens, though, because workers must wade through miles of legal red tape.

The ERA would also uphold secret ballot elections, which protect workers from external pressure when deciding for or against union representation. Voluntary and involuntary members of various unions are currently plagued by bullying-tactics when voting, which run from paid picketers to brand attacks.

By requiring a federally supervised secret ballot election, employees could escape this pressure. Supporters of the bill said more than 79 percent of union households agree workers should have this right.

Currently, labor law also allows unions to use members’ dues for political activism, without obtaining prior approval from the workers they claim to represent. Exit polls from Edison Media Research obtained by The Heritage Foundation in 2012 demonstrated that 40 percent of union households voted Republican, yet 90 percent of union political support went to the Democratic Party and other liberal special interest groups.

And although 60 percent of union members object to their dues being used for political activism, the Heritage Foundation said they rarely receive a refund of their dues because unions often won’t honor this right until federal charges are filed.

Workers have a right to choose where their money goes. The ERA would ensure paycheck protection, requiring unions to obtain permission from employees before using their money for political purposes.

When the interests of unions and employees clash, the law currently allows unions to suppress the rights and voices of its members. The ERA provides the reforms that would change this and give power back to the workers.

To access the editorial, click here.

The Workforce Fairness Institute is an organization committed to educating voters, employers, employees and citizens about issues affecting the workplace.  To learn more, please visit: http://www.workforcefairness.com.

 To schedule an interview with a Workforce Fairness Institute representative, please contact Ryan Williams at (202) 677-7060.

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ICYMI: Make The NLRB Less Great Again

WFI

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE                                                CONTACT: Ryan Williams
July 3, 2017                                                                                                        202-677-7060

IN CASE YOU MISSED IT

Make The NLRB Less Great Again

July 3, 2017
Editorial
Washington Examiner

“Stop the presses! President Trump has nominated a second new commissioner to the National Labor Relations Board!”

Okay, yes, we jest. In reality, most Americans have probably never heard of the panel. They haven’t heard of William Emanuel or Marvin Kaplan — Trump’s appointees to the panel. They aren’t aware that this will give the panel its first Republican majority since 2009, and they probably haven’t even heard the acronym NLRB, let alone have the foggiest idea what it stands for.

But during the Obama years, the NLRB suddenly took on an outsized importance in Washington. It issued scads of economically crucial rulings, upending centuries of legal precedent on a cumulative basis, and leaving a lot of messes that Trump’s appointees must now clean up. One of the clear lessons of the Obama era is that this obscure panel possesses — or at least aspires to — far more power than it really ought to have.

The NLRB’s ostensible purpose is to promote labor peace by resolving disputes between workers, employers and unions so that they don’t need to clog the federal court dockets. But during the Obama era, the NLRB morphed into a crusading mini-legislature seeking to slow or reverse the natural demise of labor unions. It propagated many dubious rulings that overturned decades of established precedent. Over the objections of its Republican minority, the panel even attempted to establish new rules on employers never previously found guilty of unfair employment practices.

Many recent NLRB actions had to be overturned by the courts later, and some must still be overturned.

It now falls to Trump’s appointees to restore fairness and balance to labor law after eight years of overt, lawless favoritism toward union bosses.

Because it is such an obscure panel, many of the Obama NLRB’s abuses went under the radar. For example, you probably wouldn’t even know that last June, Obama’s NLRB even issued a ruling overturning an 80-year old Supreme Court precedent on when and for what reasons employers may permanently replace a striking employee. The specific issues of the case aside, Americans are simply not living under the rule of law if the NLRB, a creature of Congress, can just abruptly overturn long-established precedents of the highest court in the land.

The labor panel made a lot more news with its 2015 decision upending the entire franchise model of American business. This was done in the hopes of letting unions capture monopoly bargaining rights and dues money on a mass scale, rather than having to do the work of winning over employees for each individual local employer who operates a local McDonalds or Ace Hardware franchise. It is the local employer, after all, who hires, fires, and pays employees, yet the NLRB wants to give union bosses access to the bigger companies.

Obama’s NLRB introduced “quickie elections,” along with a requirement that employers hand over, on demand, the phone numbers and other private information of their employees to union organizers on two days’ notice. And it’s not enough for employers just to give them what they have in their database — they now have to check with every supervisor to see which workers’ private information they have. The sole purpose of this requirement is to help unions win organizing drives more frequently.

Obama’s NLRB has ruled that workers have a right to use their employers’ email systems for organizing. It tried to create a new rule forcing employers to prominently advertise unionization, even if they don’t want to. This latter rule was struck down by the courts, because federal law simply doesn’t give the NLRB authority to issue it.

And of course, let’s not forget that, in his haste to establish a quorum and provide unions with as much help as he possibly could, former President Barack Obama made recess appointments to the panel which were later ruled unconstitutional by a unanimous Supreme Court decision.

These are just a few examples of the mischief this little panel created during the Obama years. We urge Congress once again to curtail this panel’s authority immediately, before another union-crusading president takes power and tries to replicate Obama’s mischief. And we also hope the Senate will quickly confirm the new appointees so that they can steer the NLRB in a direction that is both more constructive and truer to the purpose of its existence.

To access the editorial, click here.

The Workforce Fairness Institute is an organization committed to educating voters, employers, employees and citizens about issues affecting the workplace.  To learn more, please visit: http://www.workforcefairness.com.

To schedule an interview with a Workforce Fairness Institute representative, please contact Ryan Williams at (202) 677-7060.

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ICYMI: Fully Staffed NLRB Means It Is Time To Restore Workplace Balance

WFI

 

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE                                                CONTACT: Ryan Williams
July 3, 2017                                                                                                        202-677-7060

IN CASE YOU MISSED IT

Fully Staffed NLRB Means It Is Time To Restore Workplace Balance

Heather Greenaway
July 1, 2017
Townhall

The National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) is charged with serving as the clearinghouse for workplace organizing elections, as well as managing disputes between employees, employers and labor unions.  The board’s purpose is not to undertake an activist agenda creating policy favoring one side over another; instead, operating as an arbiter of law as written.  Yet under President Barack Obama, the so-called independent agency became nothing more than a tool for Big Labor to write public policy, putting forward decision after decision that bolstered the interests of union bosses at the expense of America’s workers and businesses.  One reason for this outcome was the board was stacked with labor allies whose allegiance was to bosses and delivering payback for the millions spent electing and re-electing Obama.

As with many things in Washington, D.C., this has already changed markedly since the election of President Donald Trump, but there is much that remains to be done.  No longer is government trying to force nonsensical and burdensome rules onto employers; instead, it is putting smart, qualified people in charge of agencies and enacting policies that create conditions for greater hiring, wage increases and economic growth.

Within the NLRB itself, President Trump has worked to nominate qualified and experienced individuals, who will take an unbiased look at any case and make decisions based on the merits.  The recent board nominations of Marvin Kaplan and William Emanuel are perfect examples as they will bring to the NLRB track records of working on labor issues over the course of their esteemed legal careers.  Kaplan’s experience as counsel to the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) and Emanuel’s decades of experience working in labor and employment law demonstrate each will bring a serious and measured approach to the board.

Coupled with the appointment of Philip Miscimarra as chairman of the NLRB, President Trump is clearly demonstrating that he is seeking to fix the failed policies of the last eight years.  He is showing that everyone deserves to have their voice heard, in addition to a seat at the table during workplace organizing efforts and any disputes that may result from them.

As the business community continues to adapt to the deluge of arbitrary rules and regulations issued by the previous administration, the new leadership in Washington must continue to send the message that they are committed to advancing a pro-jobs and pro-worker agenda.  A key aspect of this undertaking requires the board undoing previous decisions, such as the unnecessary and greatly expedited organizing election timetable as well as the policy giving union bosses the ability to organize small subsets of employees known as “micro-unions” when the traditional majority of workers oppose union representation.

With President Trump bringing balance to the board, and by extension American workplaces, the right kind of message is being sent across this country.  The time has come to set aside the divisive, biased, anti-worker and anti-business policies of the last eight years, and get to the hard work of getting Americans back on level footing in their places of occupation.  The Trump Administration has worked incredibly hard to identify and name a strong pair of nominees, but this undertaking is just beginning. And the next step in restoring balance to American workplaces can only be achieved with the swift confirmation of both of these incredibly qualified nominees by the U.S. Senate.

Heather Greenaway is a spokesperson for the Workforce Fairness Institute.

To access the op-ed, click here.

The Workforce Fairness Institute is an organization committed to educating voters, employers, employees and citizens about issues affecting the workplace.  To learn more, please visit: http://www.workforcefairness.com.

To schedule an interview with a Workforce Fairness Institute representative, please contact Ryan Williams at (202) 677-7060.

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Workforce Fairness Institute Applauds Approval Of Pro-Worker Legislation In U.S. House Committee

WFI

 

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE                                                CONTACT: Ryan Williams

June 29, 2017                                                                                                      202-677-7060

Workforce Fairness Institute Applauds Approval Of Pro-Worker Legislation In U.S. House Committee  

Bills Now Merit Expeditious Support In Full House Chamber

 Washington, D.C. – Workforce Fairness Institute (WFI) spokesperson Heather Greenaway released the following statement today in response to the U.S. House Committee on Education and the Workforce voting to approve several significant pieces of legislation, particularly the Workforce Democracy and Fairness Act (H.R. 2776) and Employee Privacy Protection Act (H.R. 2775):

“The U.S. House Committee on Education and the Workforce deserves immense credit for standing up for workers and job creators in approving legislation that rolls back the National Labor Relations Board’s ambush election rule, as well as enacting safeguards for the personal information of employees.  The Workforce Democracy and Fairness Act ensures workers will have sufficient time to receive and review information during labor organizing elections.  And the Employer Privacy Protection Act protects worker privacy by limiting information accessed by union organizers, while allowing employees to determine their preferred method of communication.  These important pieces of legislation benefit American employees and employers, and merit expeditious consideration by the full U.S. House.”

The Workforce Fairness Institute is an organization committed to educating voters, employers, employees and citizens about issues affecting the workplace.  To learn more, please visit: http://www.workforcefairness.com.

To schedule an interview with a Workforce Fairness Institute representative, please contact Ryan Williams at (202) 677-7060. 

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ICYMI: The Trump Labor Board’s List

WFI

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE                                                CONTACT: Ryan Williams
June 30, 2017                                                                                                      202-677-7060

IN CASE YOU MISSED IT

The Trump Labor Board’s List

Editorial
June 28, 2017
The Wall Street Journal

President Trump is finally filling out the National Labor Relations Board, and not a moment too soon. Repudiating the Obama NLRB’s radical rulings will take time, but Congress could lend a hand.

Last week Mr. Trump nominated Marvin Kaplan, counsel at the Occupational Safe and Health Review Commission, to one of two vacancies on the board. And this week the President rounded out the five-member board by naming William Emanuel, an employment lawyer at Littler Mendelson who helped challenge the Obama NLRB ruling that bars class-action waivers in arbitration agreements. The Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals rejected the board’s theory, and the Supreme Court has agreed to hear the case.

Both are well-qualified attorneys who will hew to statutory or case law. They are unlikely to get rolled by union-friendly staff who have sometimes been more knowledgable and influential than the board’s GOP members.

The nominations will give Republicans their first board majority in a decade, and there’s little time to waste. Some 360 cases are pending before the board, many of which present opportunities to correct recent board rulings that depart from longstanding precedent. The Coalition for a Democratic Workplace last year estimated that the Obama NLRB overturned 4,559 years of established law.

One example is the 2015 Browning-Ferris decision, which created a new “indirect influence” joint-employer standard that has upended contractual relationships as well as the franchise business model. The ruling, which nullified three decades of board and judicial precedent, allows unions to drag companies into labor disputes with subcontractors and franchisees.

Also pivotal is the 2011 Specialty Healthcare decision that let unions form micro-bargaining units within a “community of interest” that shares job classifications, functions and skills, among other commonalities. This lets unions use a divide-and-conquer strategy to organize workplaces.

Last year the board melded Browning-Ferris and Specialty Healthcare by ruling that employer consent isn’t needed for bargaining units that combine jointly employed and solely employed workers. Other Obama NLRB departures include letting university teaching assistants unionize and letting workers defame their company on social media and keep their jobs.

Don’t forget how the Obama NLRB rigged union election rules to deny employers due process. One change restricted employers’ ability to dispute the eligibility of workers in a bargaining unit before an election. And an expedited election schedule limits employers’ opportunity to present their case to employees. While employers can contest the board’s decisions in court, President Obama packed the D.C. Circuit Court of Appeals with liberal judges who are inclined to defer to the board’s judgment under the Chevron standard.

This is why it’s important for the GOP Congress to clarify ambiguities in the National Labor Relations Act that unions have exploited to give themselves organizing advantages that Congress never intended. For starters, Congress could codify the direct control joint-employer standard as well as union election procedures that protect employer and worker rights.

Legislation would protect the Trump NLRB’s decisions against legal challenges from the left while hemming in future Democratic majorities. Otherwise, employers will have to fight the same battles the next time a Democrat is elected to the White House.

To access the editorial, click here.

The Workforce Fairness Institute is an organization committed to educating voters, employers, employees and citizens about issues affecting the workplace.  To learn more, please visit: http://www.workforcefairness.com.

To schedule an interview with a Workforce Fairness Institute representative, please contact Ryan Williams at (202) 677-7060.

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