President Joe Biden spent Labor Day promising to deliver for America’s workers.
In a Philadelphia speech, he said he’d “make the economy work for people like you.”
But then he called for more one-size-fits-all government mandates that will destroy jobs and lower wages.
He’s tried this approach for two years. No one has suffered more than workers.
They’re hurting from a stumbling economy, stubborn inflation and wages just barely keeping up with everyday price hikes.
We don’t need more of the failed policies of the past.
We need to give workers the freedom and flexibility that will lead to a brighter future.
Simply put, we need the Employee Rights Act.
This bill is the most important pro-worker legislation in at least 60 years.
It brings America’s labor laws into the 21st century, giving workers full control over their future.
Yet instead of rallying around this vision, Biden and his allies in Congress are doubling down on the outdated labor model of the 19th and 20th centuries.
They’ve rallied around the so-called PRO Act, putting narrow special interests above the well-being of workers and working families.
Fortunately, Congress is blocking that disastrous bill from becoming law — but the Biden administration is enacting provisions piecemeal through federal agencies.
To take just one example: Last month, the National Labor Relations Board gutted workers’ right to decide union representation by a secret ballot vote.
Workers’ privacy should be protected. They should never have to worry about workplace intimidation or being misled into giving away their ability to work directly with their employer.
The Employee Rights Act can help right these wrongs and give workers much-needed relief. To start, it protects workers’ democratic freedom.
Under this bill, workers will never have to deal with “card check” as the final say in union organizing.
“Card check” allows unions to intimidate workers by making their decision about union representation public and not giving them adequate time to reflect or get the necessary information to make an informed choice.
Biden’s NLRB appointees have created a backdoor “card check” that undermines workplace democracy.
The Employee Rights Act ensures all unionization elections use a secret ballot, just like every other election in America.
Second, the bill protects workers’ right to privacy. Labor unions have essentially unfettered access to workers’ personal information, including home addresses.
Yet another avenue for intimidation: Unions can show up at workers’ front doors with a list of demands.
The Employee Rights Act protects privacy by giving employees the freedom to choose one form of personal contact information, in writing, that the unions may receive.
Third, the legislation protects workers’ ability to start their own small businesses via franchising.
By contrast, the Biden administration is preparing a mandate that would destroy this opportunity by upending the franchise model altogether.
Fourth, the Employee Rights Act also protects workers’ rights to work for themselves.
Millions of Americans are independent contractors for the unprecedented flexibility.
California has already passed a law curtailing independent work; Biden is preparing a similar national mandate, which could upset the gig economy and other industries reliant on the independent-contractor model.
The act would restore the flexibility workers deserve.
Finally, the bill protects workers from being forced to undermine their own deeply held beliefs.
Unions can spend workers’ dues to support politicians and political causes without expressed approval from each member.
The Employee Rights Act requires unions to get workers’ permission before spending their hard-earned money on partisan politics.
The American people overwhelmingly support every provision of the Employee Rights Act — including those in union households.
They want to unleash workers, not shackle them with the demands of special interests, and they’re looking for leaders who put workers first.
Now is the time to expand the freedom and flexibility that will boost wages, improve lives and strengthen families and communities.
Congress should rally around the Employee Rights Act.
We need to bring our outdated laws into the 21st century and unleash the potential of the modern economy.
The sooner we get out of the past — and move past the Biden economy — the sooner we’ll empower workers to rise, thrive and achieve their own American Dream.
Rick W. Allen, the Employee Rights Act’s primary sponsor, represents Georgia’s 12th Congressional District and serves on the House Education and the Workforce Committee. F. Vincent Vernuccio is president of the Institute for the American Worker.