June 26, 2018

MSCI, Coalition Oppose Legislation To Strip Worker Secret Ballots

In recent weeks, two new, pro-labor bills have been introduced in Congress: S. 3065, the Workers’ Freedom to Negotiate to Act, sponsored by Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.) and Sen. Patty Murray (D-Wash.), and S. 2810, the Workplace Democracy Act, sponsored by Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.).

Both pieces of legislation are pro-union, but the Sanders bill takes the more radical path, including proposing a card-check system that would abolish secret ballots in union certification elections. The Coalition for a Democratic Workplace (CDW), which the Metals Service Center Institute (MSCI) is a member of, and allied trade associations have sent letters to both houses of Congress laying out the flaws in the Sanders bill.

While MSCI and its partners do not expect either piece of legislation will pass the GOP-controlled Senate, opposition to them at this early stage is important to set the stage for what could be a major legislative battle should the Democrats take control of Congress in November.

Click here to read the CDW Senate letter, and click here to read the CDW House letter.

The letters argue S. 2810 would:

  • Strip workers’ right to private voting and secret ballots in union elections;
  • Codify the NLRB’s controversial Browning-Ferris Industries (BFI) joint employment standard that has threatened our country’s small and local businesses;
  • Curb opportunities for people to work independently through gig economy platforms or more traditional independent contractor roles;
  • Eliminate Right-to-Work protections for workers across the country, including in the 28 states that have passed Right to Work laws;
  • Interfere with attorney-client confidentiality and make it harder for businesses, particularly small businesses, to secure legal advice on complex labor law matters; and
  • Strip away “secondary boycott” protections that prevent unions from using their anti-trust exemptions and immunity from some state laws to target business for anti-competitive purposes other than organizing.