On behalf of the Transportation Trades Department, AFL-CIO (TTD), I urge you to vote against the Workforce Democracy and Fairness Act (H.R. 3094) when it is considered by the House of Representatives this week. Despite its misleading title, this bill has nothing to do with “democracy” or “fairness” but instead is intended to interfere with a worker’s basic right to freely decide whether or not to be represented by a union under the National Labor Relations Act (NLRA). Instead of wasting time on bills that would make it hard for workers to negotiate for fair wages and good jobs, Congress should focus on helping the 14 million Americans looking for work every day.
H.R. 3094 would complicate and delay the union election process. Specifically, the bill creates a mandatory waiting period of 35 days after the filing of an election petition, even if the employers and employees agree to an earlier date. This waiting period is designed to give unscrupulous employers time to mount aggressive campaigns to pressure workers into abandoning their organizing efforts. At the same time, the bill does nothing to limit how long an election can be delayed, leaving the door open for employer claims, challenges and litigation that could prevent fair elections from being held for months or years after a petition is filed. Moreover, this legislation encourages wasteful litigation by mandating a full pre-election hearing on any broadly defined “relevant and material” issues. The result would be to incentivize time-consuming pre-election hearings, and increase taxpayer costs.
This legislation would also make it more difficult for workers to choose to form a union and tip the scales further toward employers in the election process. Additionally, the bill would allow employers to effectively gerrymander the bargaining unit to artificially create a workforce that is more likely to reject union representation.
H.R. 3094 is nothing more than an attack on the right of America’s workers to collectively bargain. At a time when unemployment remains high, and our economy continues to struggle, this legislation is an unfortunate distraction from what the American people need: job-creating legislation that invests in our nation’s aging transportation system while helping our economy recover. Please vote against H.R. 3094 and stand up for America’s workers.