The NAM is opposing the reintroduction of legislation that would institute “card check” and other labor policies harmful to manufacturers.
What’s going on: A coalition of nearly 100 organizations including the NAM urged Congress last week to reject the Protecting the Right to Organize Act, introduced in the House in February by Rep. Robert C. Scott (D-VA).
- “This bill would limit workers’ right to secret ballot elections, trample free speech and debate, jeopardize industrial stability, threaten vital supply chains, limit opportunities for small businesses and entrepreneurs, cost millions of American jobs and greatly hinder the economy,” they told Congress.
What’s in it: This legislation would significantly worsen—not improve—conditions for employees, the coalition argued. It would:
- Limit workers’ free speech and remove the right to vote via secret ballots.
- Hand confidential worker information over to unions without employee consent.
- Allow unions to choose bargaining units that maximize their chances of winning elections.
- Eliminate right-to-work laws.
- Allow intermittent strikes and remove bans on unions boycotting companies that do business with those engaged in an active labor dispute.
The cost: “The economic impact of the PRO Act would be catastrophic,” the coalition continued, citing one study which “found that the bill’s independent worker reclassification provision alone could cost as much as $57 billion nationwide, while the joint-employer changes would cost franchises up to $33.3 billion a year, lead to over 350,000 job losses, and increase lawsuits by 93%.”
In the spotlight: Many provisions of the PRO Act were raised during a hearing Wednesday of the Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions Committee chaired by Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-VT)—demonstrating that this issue and this legislation will remain a top priority for him and others in the Senate.