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Freedom is central to our American identity.
Our Founders guaranteed this by ensuring constitutional protections for our freedoms of speech, religion, assembly, press and the ability to petition the government. James Madison went a step further in protecting our individual liberties by including the Bill of Rights in our Constitution.
Today, we enjoy these freedoms every single day. However, millions of Americans still lack a very basic freedom in the workplace – the freedom of choice.
Over 90 percent of private-sector workers across America represented by a union have never actually voted to be a part of in the first place.
Thankfully, the Employee Rights Act, introduced by Rep. Phil Roe (R-Tenn.) and Sen. Orrin Hatch (R-Utah), would change that outdated system by enacting a rule to protect workers’ rights and make sure unions put their members first.
Today, most unions never have to stand for re-election once they are voted in, and when they are up for election, union mobilizers often intimidate workers into supporting them.
A 2016 study from the Heritage Foundation found that only 6 percent of private-sector employees represented by a union voted for the union that currently represents them. The other 94 percent voted against the union or were never given a say.
The Employee Rights Act would require that unions stand for recertification election every time the workforce had turned over by at least 50 percent at the end of a collective bargaining agreement, and to be recertified would need to secure majority support from the entire bargaining unit in a secret ballot election – ensuring workers can vote free from union harassment and intimidation that comes with so-called “card check” elections.
In addition, current law allows unions to collect dues from their members’ paychecks and spend those dues how the union sees fit without workers’ permission, including spending on political causes members may not even support.
Over the last four years, unions have reported sending over $500 million in membership dues to left-wing advocacy groups.
The ERA would empower employees by requiring unions to receive permission from workers before spending their dues on anything other than collective bargaining. These reforms would give members the choice to opt-in and choose whether they want their union dues spent on political causes.
These common-sense reforms are essential to defending worker freedom and protecting employees from intimidation as they decide how they wish to be represented in the workplace.
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