​MEMA Formally Opposes Proposed Labor Law that Would Strip Workers of Some Hard-Earned Rights

Date: May 8, 2019
MEMA has formally opposed a proposed federal law that would eliminate the rights of workers to vote in union elections privately and strip Right-to-Work provisions, even in states that have already passed Right-to-Work laws.
 
In a letter to Reps. Frederica Wilson (D-Fla.) and Tim Walberg (R-Mich.), who lead the Subcommittee on Health, Employment, Labor and Pensions within the Committee on Education and Labor, MEMA argues that the Right to Organize (PRO) Act (H.R. 2474) threatens the balance between the right to organize and a workers’ right to opt out of labor organizations or vote in their elections secretly.
 
MEMA objects to the bill’s many sweeping provisions, including:
 
  • Removal of a secret ballot for union elections, stripping employees of their rights to vote privately and in secret when choosing whether to unionize.
  • Elimination of Right-to-Work provisions across the country, including in states that have passed Right-to- Work laws.
  • Interference with attorney-client confidentiality, increasing reporting requirements for employers and their legal counsel retained for labor and workforce issues. This requirement is unnecessary and ignores the long-standing nature of confidentiality between a company and its legal counsel.
  • Language codifying the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) joint employment standard that strips workers of their right to private voting and secret ballots in union elections. This standard maintains that any two (or more) companies are joint employers if the primary employer has “indirect or potential control” of contract employees. This vague and uncertain standard increases employer liability for subcontractors and vendors.
 
“The motor vehicle supplier industry has long had a balanced and productive relationship between employers and employees with respect to labor and workforce rules. However, the Protecting the Right to Organize (PRO) Act (H.R. 2474) would shift that balance, resulting in greater costs imposed on suppliers, impacting their ability to manage their workforce and provide jobs,” MEMA said in the letter. “Instead, MEMA encourages Congress to work with all relevant stakeholders − including employers, unions, and other stakeholders − to implement reforms that protect employee and employer rights while encouraging economic growth.”
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