Power to the Workers – New Bill to Strengthen Unions
On Wednesday, May 9, Senator Bernie Sanders (I-VT) introduced the Workplace Democracy Act, with Representative Mark Pocan (D-WI) introducing the companion bill in the House of Representatives.
This Act would protect the rights of the working class to form a union and collectively bargain for fair wages, benefits, and safe working conditions. “It is no secret that stagnant wages and the growing economic injustice in the United States has been the direct result of the all-out assault on working families and our unions over the past few decades,” said APWU Legislative and Political Director, Judy Beard.
The Workplace Democracy Act would:
- Allow for Unions to organize through a majority sign-up process
- Would require employers to begin negotiating within 10 days of receiving a request to form a new union
- Eliminate deceptively named Right-to-Work (for less) laws
- Eliminates loopholes which allow employers to classify employees as independent contractors/supervisors in order to prevent organizing
- Allows for secondary boycotts or pickets
- Require companies to disclose anti-union information they disseminate to workers
“The deck is stacked against workers,” said APWU President, Mark Dimondstein. “We welcome the introduction of pro-worker legislation which will put more power back in the hands of the people.”
The bill is cosponsored in the Senate by Senators Tammy Baldwin (D-WI), Cory Booker (D-NJ), Sherrod Brown (D-OH), Kirsten Gillibrand (D-NY), Kamala Harris (D-CA), Patrick Leahy (D-VT), Edward Markey (D-MA), Jeff Merkley (D-OR), Chris Van Hollen (D-MD), Elizabeth Warren (D-MA), Sheldon Whitehouse (D-RI), and Ron Wyden (D-OR). The House bill is cosponsored Brendan Boyle (D-PA), Katherine Clark (D-MA), Rosa DeLauro (D-CT), Mark DeSaulnier (D-CA), Keith Ellison (D-MN), Adriano Espaillat (D-NY), Marcy Kaptur (D-OH), Barbara Lee (D-CA), Donald Norcross (D-NJ), Jan Schakowsky (D-IL), Robert C. “Bobby” Scott (D-VA), Mark Takano (D-CA), Debbie Wasserman Schultz (D-FL), and Bonnie Watson Coleman (D-NJ).
A summary of the bill can be read here.