Heritage Action Supports Rep. Phil Roe’s Employee Rights Act

This month, Rep. Phil Roe (R-Tenn.) introduced the Employee Rights Act (H.R. 2723). This legislation would protect workers from union pressure by putting power in the hands of employees and making union leaders more accountable to their members. As the Heritage Foundation notes, if union bosses “were angels, such changes would be unnecessary” but “since they are not” new protections are necessary.

Heritage explains the legislation would guarantee employees the rights to:

  •         Vote privately in a secret ballot election before forming a union;
  •         Opt out of having their personal contact information provided to a union during an organizing drive;
  •         Hear from employers at least 40 days prior to voting in a union election;
  •         Vote in a secret ballot election before accepting a contract or going on strike;
  •         Vote regularly on re-electing their union;
  •         Decide whether their union can spend their dues on matters unrelated to collective bargaining; and,
  •         Be free from union interference or extortion in exercising their legal rights.

Workers should not be pressured or coerced by unions or union bosses to take actions that undermine their rights. Protecting the voting rights of employees is essential:

“Under general union representation, employees relinquish their individual negotiating authority to a union. The union becomes the sole representative of the employees in negotiations with their employer. Unionized employers must negotiate employment terms with the union and the union alone. They may not bargain with individual workers.”

Though the purpose of unions is ostensibly to protect workers, they often fail to do so because they are motivated by the “institutional objectives” of expanding in size, income and influence. They want “contracts that protect their institutional powers.” When the interests of unions come in conflict with the interests of workers, unions often make decisions that benefit them rather than employees. In an effort to expand power and influence, unions discourage secret ballot elections or work to eliminate them altogether; this results in the loss of privacy benefits for workers. Unions can also call for a strike without first consulting workers.

Workers deserve a say in decisions that put their jobs at risk. The Employee Rights Act would amend this by requiring a secret ballot vote before a union can call a strike. Furthermore, the bill would solidify paycheck protection provisions, provide a mechanism for union re-certification, and finally criminalize union threats under federal law.

David W. Kreutzer, Ph.D., Senior Research Fellow in Labor Markets and Trade in the Institute for Economic Freedom and Opportunity at The Heritage Foundation, issued this statement:

“All union members deserve the protection of secret ballots and reasonable choice over who represents them. Ninety-four percent of union members are represented by unions for whom they never voted.  Let the dues-payers decide whether their union is an effective advocate for them or not. Competent, worker-focused union leadership has nothing to fear from members’ freedom to choose.”

The Employee Rights Act would solve many problems workers face today, including problems enshrined in current labor law. The bill would help restore a balance of power in the workplace from unions to workers and help ensure labor unions best serve the interest of employees, not union bosses.

***Heritage Action supports the legislation, encourages Representatives to support it, and reserves the right to key vote in the future.***


Please Share Your Thoughts

9 thoughts on “Heritage Action Supports Rep. Phil Roe’s Employee Rights Act

  1. Pingback: The Right News Network | An Act to Protect the Rights of Employees

  2. Pingback: An Act to Protect the Rights of Employees | The Right News Network

  3. I am in favor of these changes with respect to unions. A union should not have the ability to either vote for you or make it so miserable that you are forced to vote against your conscience.

  4. I’m a Republican and we get the blame for so much that is not even fact. But if this one here is true, it’s a very sad! Unions protect the worker, “right to work” as an attorney pointed out to me, is NOT for the rights of the worker.

  5. Having worked for a company that had a union we were forced to belong to I can honestly say unions are not always exhibiting the best interests of their members. In the beginnibg there was a reason for the unions, now the unions have become power hungry. So glad union members are getting some rights.

  6. Unions are more often than not predators of their members. The negotiate unsustainable packages for their members that drive jobs offshore and that many members do not want, but they always take care of themselves first! I like unions to monitor working conditions and safety concerns. Not long term unsustainable wage extortion.

  7. As a lifetime resident of West Virginia, I recognize certain difficulties in getting this legislation passed. However, when we write or call our representatives, I think it would help to stress the fact that we aren’t wanting to abolish unions all together, but rather only reign in some of the overreach and restore some level of control to the employee. There have been great advantages to unions and still are, as long as they are unions “of the people” instead of creating a wheelhouse of power for union bosses.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *