Posts tagged Pro Act

    Voluntary Recognition of Unions Is Increasingly Popular Among U.S. Employers

    January 23, 2023 // In January 2023, Microsoft recognized a union of playtesters at its subsidiary ZeniMax Studios; Major League Baseball voluntarily recognized minor league players’ choice to join the Major League Baseball Players Association in September; workers at a number of media organizations had their unions recognized throughout 2021 and 2022; and mission-driven organizations such as charities, museums, civil rights and environmentalist groups, think tanks, and other nonprofits all voluntarily recognized worker unions as well. Other businesses, including The Metals Company, Forever Energy, and the Association of Independent Commercial Producers, signed neutrality agreements with unions, under which the firms agreed to refrain from engaging in anti-union tactics during an election. Some companies have communicated that they have pursued voluntary recognition because their own organizations’ goals broadly align with those of workers. In particular, a number of mission-driven organizations have opted for voluntary recognition in recent years, including the Whitney Museum, the Shed, the Museum of Contemporary Art (MOCA) Los Angeles, the Brookings Institution, the National Center for Transgender Equality, Capital Roots, Code for America, and others. The American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU), a national nonprofit that litigates to protect civil liberties, first voluntarily recognized the unionization of national staffers with the International Federation of Professional and Technical Engineers (IFPTE) Local 70, also called the Nonprofit Professional Employees Union, in 2021.* One of the ACLU’s state affiliates, the ACLU of Texas, also recognized its workers’ choice to unionize with United Auto Workers (UAW) Local 2320 in 2022. Indeed, as the ACLU of Texas stated after recognizing its employee union: Media and news organizations have seen some of the largest voluntary recognition agreements signed in the United States. Along with workers at Politico, The Atlantic, Public News Service, The State, and others, employees at Condé Nast won voluntary recognition for their staff union with the Communications Workers of America (CWA) in 2022. Spurred on by their co-workers at The New Yorker and other Condé Nast publications that voted in favor of joining the NewsGuild-CWA in 2018, these workers organized a union that covers 500 workers, including 100 subcontractors. Workers have also won voluntary recognition in the entertainment industry, including at the International Documentary Association, Seven Seas Entertainment, and the iHeartPodcast Network, as well as through the Animation Guild.

    The State of the Union: Unpacking the Recent Rise in Labor Unionization

    January 20, 2023 // Considering unions’ historical role in curbing disproportionate corporate profits and inequality, it makes sense that the NLRB reported a 57% jump in union representation petitions and 14% more complaints of unfair labor practices in the first half of 2022. In the current moment, it seems that workers are turning to unionization as a means of righting the wrongs of corporate inequality. But this push for unions, while having recently enjoyed a burst of momentum, has been a long time coming. Public support for unions stands at 71%, up from 48% in 2010 and at its highest since 1965, according to a recent Gallup poll. Organizers are also being buoyed by a political environment conducive to labor organizing. President Biden has taken decidedly pro-union stances since entering office, replacing Trump’s pro-business and anti-labor NLRB general counsel with former union attorney Jennifer Abruzzo and backing the PRO Act, which would simplify the process of unionizing. It also helps that unions have evaded the extreme partisanship that has swamped most other issues in contemporary politics: While Democrats are twice as likely to view unions favorably compared to Republicans, almost half of Republicans still say that they would approve of unionization in their workplaces.

    Sens. Braun, Burr, Thune, and Rep. Foxx Lead Republican Colleagues in Urging Department of Labor to Protect Independent Contractor Classification

    December 19, 2022 // Senators Braun, Burr and Thune are leading a bicameral letter with Rep. Foxx (R-N.C.) urging the Department of Labor (DOL) not to move forward with its proposed rule for determining independent contractor classification due to the negative impact on workers and business, the test’s lack of clarity and the devastating consequences for the U.S. economy. They are joined by Sens. Hagerty, Romney, T. Scott, Cramer, Johnson, Barrasso, Cassidy, Lankford, Marshall, Hoeven, Blackburn, Boozman, Tuberville, Young, Lummis, Lee, R. Scott, Inhofe, Graham, Fischer, Ernst, Shelby, and Rounds as well as Reps. Wilson, Thompson, Walberg, Grothman, Stefanik, Allen, Banks, Comer, Fulcher, Keller, Miller-Meeks, Owens, Good, McClain, Harshbarger, Miller, Spartz, Fitzgerald, Steel, and Pete Sessions.

    O’BRIEN, WARNOCK, AND OSSOFF TO MEET WITH TEAMSTER UPS WORKERS AT ATLANTA FACILITY

    December 6, 2022 // Warnock and Ossoff have supported Teamster initiatives during their first two years in office — by voting to bolster multiemployer pensions and supporting more than $1 trillion in infrastructure investment that will employ hundreds of thousands of workers in good-paying union jobs. The senators are also co-sponsors of the Protecting the Right to Organize (PRO) Act, which the Teamsters strongly back. The legislation would modernize federal labor law by removing current roadblocks that make it difficult for workers to unionize and negotiate better wages and benefits.

    The ‘pro-union’ president risks the support of a key constituency to avert a rail strike

    December 5, 2022 // Biden faces a backlash from a core of rail workers and allied groups, as some of them see his push for a measure to avoid a strike as a betrayal. He signed the measure, which passed with bipartisan support, at the White House on Friday, giving rail workers a significant raise, but denying them the paid sick leave that had been a sticking point in some of the contract talks. Hours later, he arrived at the John F. Kennedy Library in Boston and was met by scores of protesters objecting to his handling of a labor dispute that threatened to halt rail service at the peak of the holiday season.

    NY POST Opinion: Union Joe suddenly turns into Union-Buster-in-Chief — to save himself

    December 1, 2022 // With Americans already facing Bidenflation and a potentially painful recession, a rail strike would utterly slam the nation’s economy — and his legacy. “I am calling on Congress to pass legislation immediately to adopt the Tentative Agreement [reached in September by] railroad workers and operators,” Biden said Monday, insisting no “path to resolve the dispute at the bargaining table” exists. Hmm. Just this year he was backing unionization of Amazon workers, warning, “Amazon, here we come. Watch.” Last year, too, he pushed unionization drives and praised organized labor for winning workers better terms. His proposed Protecting the Right to Organize Act and American Jobs Plan aimed to unionize practically the entire US workforce (by nixing states’ right-to-work laws, for example).

    Op-ed by Marty Walsh: Protecting the Right to Organize Act will help unions win their first contracts

    November 28, 2022 // The Protecting the Right to Organize (PRO) Act is strongly supported by the Biden-Harris administration. Introduced by Sen. Patty Murray and co-sponsored by Sen. Maria Cantwell, the act would establish a mediation and arbitration process for reaching a first contract agreement. The PRO Act, which passed the U.S. House of Representatives in March 2021, is awaiting a vote in the Senate.

    Biden touts union-backed apprenticeships as he dissolves Trump-era apprentice program

    November 8, 2022 // "President Biden and Vice President Harris recognized that IRAPs were a threat to union workers," the Laborers' International Union of North America posted on its website. President Biden on Wednesday touted an expansion of apprenticeship programs that are often run by his union allies, even as he prepares to dissolve a Trump-era apprentice program that unions have openly declared as a threat. Biden delivered a speech at the White House on how his legislative victories expanded apprenticeship programs through his administration’s "Talent Pipeline Challenge." That initiative aims to "support equitable workforce development" in three employment sectors: broadband, construction and electrification, which are predominately unionized fields.

    US elections will gauge support for unionization in two states

    November 1, 2022 // The most significant drive for labor unionization in the United States since the early 1970s will be put to the test in the upcoming midterm elections. Voters in Illinois and Tennessee are being asked to decide on two antithetical visions of the future of organized labor: the right to collective bargaining versus the right to work. The latter allows individual workers to choose whether or not to join a union, and frees non-members from paying compulsory union dues. Illinois wants to do away with right-to-work laws while Tennessee wants to amend its state constitution to include right-to-work provisions like nine other states. Across the US, 27 states have enacted various right-to-work laws, evidence that the country’s divisive polarization extends to labor relations.

    Workers Should Be Able to Hear from Both Sides Before Union Votes

    October 27, 2022 // To labor activists such “captive audience” mandatory meetings constitute union-busting. National Labor Relations Board General Counsel Jennifer Abruzzo has asked the full board to outlaw the practice. (The board has thus far not acted on her request.) Congressional Democrats have tried to get rid of them too. The pro-union Protecting the Right to Organize Act would prohibit companies from making the meetings mandatory. The legislation has stalled in the Senate. There is no good reason why managers shouldn’t be able to make a pitch to workers just like union activists. Collective bargaining is—or at least ought to be—the workers’ choice. They should be able to hear from all sides before they decide.