An ongoing push for new unionization policies would be damaging for manufacturers and their workforces, and the NAM is leading the fight against them. NAM Director of Labor and Employment Policy Brian Walsh recently laid out what these efforts are and what they mean for the manufacturing industry.
The background: Recent unionization efforts at major corporations like Starbucks and Amazon have gained headlines across the US. But, according to Walsh, these movements are part of a much broader effort:
- “Where manufacturers should be really concerned…is the possible changes to union-organizing activity through legislation, such as the PRO Act, or through decisions from the National Labor Relations Board that will change current interpretations of labor law and enact card check nationwide,” said Walsh.
Card check: In case you aren’t familiar with it, card check is an alternative to the secret ballot elections that are required to occur with federal oversight.
- To begin the unionization process, card check efforts require over 50% of employees to sign a card indicating their interest in forming a union. Card check proposals also jeopardize employees’ right to privately cast their ballots and could lead to less secure union elections, according to Walsh.
- “The NLRB’s General Counsel, Jennifer Abruzzo, aims to overturn longstanding practices surrounding union elections and card check policies,” added Walsh. “She has also called for overruling prior standards that have given employers the right to speak to their employees on union organizing. This would be devastating for employers.”
PRO Act: “Manufacturers support workers’ federally protected right to collectively bargain, but the Protecting the Right to Organize Act would hurt relationships between employers and employees by allowing unions to access personal employee information in union-organizing drives,” said Walsh.
- “It is also another way to eliminate the secret ballot by taking away the ability for workers to privately cast their votes in a union election. This makes a worker’s vote known on a physical card for union organizers and their co-workers to see—making them susceptible to pressure campaigns.”
The NAM in action: The NAM is advocating against these policies and has been successful at holding back the PRO Act in the Senate.
- Most recently, the NAM has been leading a campaign to make sure that card check language is not included in Congress’ final China competition bill.
What’s ahead: “Because of the composition of the NLRB, we expect many cases to be decided against employers,” said Walsh. “This is where the work of the NAM Legal Center is going to be really important in our efforts to beat back union tactics. We will be engaged in NLRB proceedings—and are prepared to go to court when necessary.”
Get involved: To take action on this issue, go here.
Washington, D.C. – Ahead of the midterm elections, the National Association of Manufacturers released its policy roadmap, “Competing to Win,” a comprehensive blueprint featuring immediate solutions for bolstering manufacturers’ competitiveness. It is also a roadmap for policymakers on the laws and regulations needed to strengthen the manufacturing industry in the months and years ahead.
With the country facing rising prices, snarled supply chains and geopolitical turmoil, manufacturers are outlining an actionable competitiveness agenda that Americans across the political spectrum can support. “Competing to Win” includes the policies manufacturers in America will need in place to continue driving the country forward.
“‘Competing to Win’ offers a path for bringing our country together around policies, shared values and a unified purpose,” said NAM President and CEO Jay Timmons. “The NAM is putting forward a plan filled with ideas that policymakers could pursue immediately, including solutions to urgent problems, such as energy security, immigration reform, supply chain disruptions, the ongoing workforce shortage and more. Manufacturers have shown incredible resilience through difficult times, employing more workers now than before the pandemic, but continued resilience is not guaranteed without the policies that are critical to the state of manufacturing in America.”
The NAM and its members will leverage “Competing to Win” to shape policy debates ahead of the midterm elections, in the remainder of the 117th Congress and at the start of the 118th Congress—including in direct engagement with lawmakers, for grassroots activity, across traditional and digital media and through events in key states and districts as we did following the initial rollout of the roadmap in 2016.
The document focuses on 12 areas of action, and all policies are rooted in the values that have made America exceptional and keep manufacturing strong: free enterprise, competitiveness, individual liberty and equal opportunity.
Learn more about how manufacturers are leading and about the industry’s competitiveness agenda at nam.org/competing-to-win.
The National Association of Manufacturers is the largest manufacturing association in the United States, representing small and large manufacturers in every industrial sector and in all 50 states. Manufacturing employs more than 12.8 million men and women, contributes $2.77 trillion to the U.S. economy annually and accounts for 58% of private-sector research and development. The NAM is the powerful voice of the manufacturing community and the leading advocate for a policy agenda that helps manufacturers compete in the global economy and create jobs across the United States. For more information about the NAM or to follow us on Twitter and Facebook, please visit www.nam.org