Senator Brown Introduces Bill Aimed at Restoring Workers' Rights to Form Unions and Bargain with Employers
October 8, 2015 - 2:21 AM
WASHINGTON, D.C. – U.S. Sen. Sherrod Brown
(D-OH), along with U.S. Sens. Bernie Sanders (I-VT) and Patty Murray
(D-WA), introduced legislation to strengthen workers’ ability to
unionize and bargain with their employer.
“For years, the ability of workers to unionize
has given employees the opportunity to bargain for better wages and
benefits. And unions have been one of our nation’s strongest voices for
workplace safety and fairness. But over time, employers have steadily
undermined workers’ ability to organize through nefarious tactics,” said
Brown. “By allowing the use of the majority sign-up process and
ensuring a timely contract negotiation, we can help restore this
fundamental right to form a union.”
According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics:
union workers’ wages are 27 percent higher than nonunion workers’ wages;
79 percent of union workers receive health insurance from their
employers compared with 49 percent of nonunion workers; and 83 percent
of union workers receive paid sick leave compared with 62 percent of
The Workplace Democracy Actwould lift up workers by:
Making it easier for workers to form unions through a majority sign-up process. This
would allow the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) to certify a
union as the collective bargaining representative if a majority of
eligible workers sign valid authorization and the NLRB verifies that
majority. Workers will be able to elect which process to use to form
unions, rather than allowing employers to dictate the course of action.
Ensuring companies cannot prevent a union from forming by denying a first contract. This
section would require an employer to begin negotiating a contract
within 10 days after certification. If no agreement is reached after 90
days of negotiation, either party can request compulsory mediation. If a
first contract is not reached after 30 more days of mediation, the
parties would submit the remaining issues to binding arbitration.
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