TRADES & UNION DIGEST > Politics > Workplace Democracy

Workplace Democracy

12 months ago
Chris Ferrari

Legislation introduced to restore workers’ rights to collective bargaining Act intended to end “Right to Work” laws.

New Jersey Representative Donald Norcross, along with Representatives Mark Pocan of
Wisconsin and Rosa DeLauro of Connecticut, joined U.S. Senator Bernie Sanders in introducing
the Workplace Democracy Act designed to strengthen the middle class by restoring workers’
rights to bargain for better wages, benefits and working conditions.
The Workplace Democracy Act would make it easier for workers to join unions in the following
 It would end right to work for less laws by repealing Section 14(b) of the Taft Hartley Act
which has allowed 28 states to pass legislation eliminating the ability of unions to collect
fair share fees from those who benefit from union contracts and activities.

 Under the legislation, when a majority of workers in a bargaining unit sign valid
authorization cards to join a union, they must have a union. Companies would not be
allowed to deny or delay a first contract with workers who have voted to join a union.
Unions would be given the right to have their voice heard through secondary boycotts
and picketing. And workers would have the right to know when their company spends
millions of dollars running anti-union campaigns.

 The bill would also stop employers from ruthlessly exploiting workers by misclassifying
them as independent contractors or denying them overtime by falsely categorizing them
as a “supervisor.”

“Workers win when they band together and use their voices to raise wages and standards in
the workplace,” said Norcross, a member of the House Committee on Education and
Workforce. “I know how important it is fofr working families to work together because I lived it. I fought for them at the negotiating table for decades. Now we must fight back against attacks
on democracy in the workplace. We need to come together and pass this act to help restore
workers’ rights.”

A similar bill sponsored by Senate President Steve Sweeney and Senator Linda Greenstein and
Assemblymen Coughlin, Reynolds and Moriarity was passed in New Jersey in May.

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