Hatch, Alexander, Price Introduce Bicameral Employees Rights Act

Senator Orrin Hatch, joined by Rep. Joe Wilson, Chairman Lamar Alexander, Chairman Tom Price, and Rep. David Rouzer, Washington, D.C., July 27, 2015 | Photo courtesy of United States Congress, St. George News

WASHINGTON, D.C. — Senator Orrin Hatch, senior Republican in the United States Senate as well as a member and former chairman of the Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions Committee, introduced the Employee Rights Act in the United States Senate Monday alongside the sponsor of the House companion bill, Rep. Tom Price, chairman of the House Budget Committee. They were joined by current HELP Chairman Lamar Alexander, and Reps. Joe Wilson and David Rouzer, in a press conference Monday afternoon to promote the bill.

This legislation represents the kind of reform American workers and businesses need to succeed in today’s global economy,” Hatch said. “The Employee Rights Act champions workers’ rights and strengthens our economy. This is not a partisan action, nor is it a Republican or a Democrat issue. It is a matter of basic worker rights. I appreciate the 16 senators who have joined as original co-sponsors, and I invite my colleagues on both sides of the aisle to protect workers by supporting the Employee Rights Act.”

“From its decision to move ahead with the ambush election rule to its attempt to undermine state right-to-work laws, recent actions from the (National Labor Relations Board) have not only been some of the most partisan we’ve seen, they’ve also been the most damaging to the rights of employees,” Alexander said. “This bill will restore workers’ rights by, among other things, ending harmful ambush elections — which force a union election before most employees have a chance to figure out what’s going on — and ensuring employees are free to vote their conscience in secret ballot elections.”

“In Congress, our main objective should always be to focus on fostering an economic climate of growth and opportunity for all American workers and families,” Price said. “This legislation allows workers the liberty to maintain and embrace their rights as individuals in the workplace. That is something we should all be able to get behind.”

Key provisions:

  • Provides paycheck protection, requiring unions to get “opt-in” approval before dues can be used for purposes other than collective bargaining. Over 40 percent of union members are Republican, yet nearly all of the political contributions from union dues — money deducted from employees’ paychecks — go to the Democratic party without the direct consent of union members.
  • Eliminates “card check” methods and protects personal liberty by requiring secret ballots for votes on whether to unionize or to strike.
  • Negates the recent NLRB “ambush election” rule. By overruling this action, the Employee Rights Act fosters information sharing between workers and employers that is necessary for employees to weigh the pros and cons of unionization.
  • Requires union recertification to ensure that unions still have the support from their members after significant turnover in the workforce.
  • Prevents union coercion and criminalizes union threats while correcting some needless disparities in the National Labor Relations Act.

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4 Comments

  • beentheredonethat July 27, 2015 at 6:34 pm

    Does Orrin even know what day it is? He should step down and maybe run fof an apostle seat.

  • munchie July 27, 2015 at 9:24 pm

    Looks like another Republican bill to screw employees and Unions. Maybe that’s why Unions back Democrats

  • Free Parking July 28, 2015 at 4:30 am

    How about if Hatch just go our for a walk and just disappear… even better

  • Roy J July 28, 2015 at 11:21 am

    I guess I’m going to have to read this bill in full. Not one of those above mentioned bullet points seem (to me) to be anything other than a bureaucratic step that retards employees ability to challenge odious workplace environments and lengthens the process, while placing criminalization tools in the hands of employers. That doesn’t sound anything like securing employee rights. Wondering if this is related to the recent ambulance problems we’re having down here.

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