Extreme Labor Law “Reform” Bill Introduced

Early last month, Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-VT) and Rep. Mark Pocan (D-WI) introduced the Workplace Democracy Act (H.R.5728/S.2810), which proposes a number of amendments designed to overhaul labor-management relations and increase union membership. The bill would institute several reforms, most notably, substituting “card check” representation election “sign-ups” in place of secret ballot elections and codifying the joint-employer standard established under Browning-Ferris. In addition, the bill proposes to:

  • eliminate right-to-work laws by repealing Section 14(b) of the National Labor Relations Act;
  • require mandatory binding arbitration of first contracts;
  • expand “persuader activity” reporting and disclosure requirements;
  • lift prohibitions on secondary boycotts and recognitional picketing; and
  • narrow independent contractor standards, which could harm sharing-economy workers and stifle innovation.

This legislation will not have a chance to advance in the current Congress, as this is very much a political document that will be used during campaign season. However, the bill could serve as a guide for policy changes in the future. IEC will work vigorously to oppose this proposal and educate members of Congress on the anti-worker and anti-employer legislation.