The Workplace Democracy Act
The policy of the United States is "to protect the exercise by
workers of full freedom of association, self-organization, and designation of
representatives of their own choosing, for the purpose of negotiating the terms and
conditions of their employment or other mutual aid or protection." But current law
effectively denies these fundamental rights to tens of millions of Americans.
As a result, we are falling behind our industrial competitors in many
significant ways. Our real wages, once the highest in the world, have fallen below the
levels of the early 1970s. Our manufacturing sector is in sharp decline, as large
corporations move production facilities to underdeveloped countries to take advantage of
exploitative wages and minimal environmental and safety standards.
The Workplace Democracy Act strengthens the federal laws designed
to protect workers and close the legal loopholes which now deprive working people of their
right to organize on behalf of their wages, their benefits and their working conditions.
By amending the National Labor Relations Act (NLRA) and the Employee Retirement Income
Security Act (ERISA), and by establishing a National Public Employment Relations
Commission, The Workplace Democracy Act provides a vehicle to achieve a
comprehensive reform of American labor law.
Establishes card checkoff recognition.
Once a majority of workers has declared its wish to be organized by conducting an election
or by signing membership cards, legal recognition shall be given to their
Guarantees the right to first contract.
If by 45 days after certification, no collective bargaining agreement has been reached,
the union then has the right to binding arbitration.
Strengthens and expands the enforcement
authority of the National Labor Relations Board. Violations of labor law are
violations of law, and must be both speedily prosecuted and remedied. Current penalties
for violating the National Labor Relations Act are insufficient to serve as effective
deterrents. The Workplace Democracy Act strengthens NLRB enforcement in the
Gives employees wronged due to such violations the right to be
"made whole" for any economic losses they incur as a result.
Requires immediate reinstatement of discharged employees when unlawfully
Provides for treble (3x) back pay for employees who suffer economic
hardship due to unfair labor practices.
Requires debarment of companies from Federal Government contracts for
willful unfair labor practices.
Repeals the prohibitions against strikes,
boycotts and hot cargo agreements. Taft-Hartley provisions that prohibit one
group of workers from engaging in actions in sympathy or concert with other groups of
workers are eliminated, as well as the Landrum-Griffin Amendment that prohibits "hot
cargo" agreements (when an employer and a union agree to refrain from handling any
products of any other employer). The right to common situs picketing is thereby restored
Prohibits state preemption of federal labor
laws. Repeals Section 14(b) of the Taft-Hartley Act, concerning "right to
work" laws. All workers shall enjoy the rights guaranteed them under federal law,
regardless of where they live.
Secures equal treatment for all employees.
Repeals the exclusion of plant guards from bargaining units with other employees where
Ensures equal protection under the law for
state and local public sector employees. Establishes the National Public
Employment Relations Commission to ensure that public sector employees of states,
territories, possessions or political subdivisions thereof, are guaranteed the right to
collective bargaining, to binding arbitration, and to strike. Establishes a mandatory
impasse procedure for public safety officers and fire fighters.
Provides workers the right to act as guarantors
of their financial future. Provides for workers to serve as trustees on pension
plans which cover their retirement.
Extends NLRA coverage to workers for U.S. owned
companies that operate in Free Trade Agreement countries. Gives workers in
countries that are party to a Free Trade Agreement with the United States the right to
file unfair labor practice complaints against the United States owned parent company of
their employer either under the NLRA or under the laws and procedures of that
-> Political Action -> Labor
Law Reform -> Summary
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