This article originally appeared on Real Clear Politics on April 13, 2022.
This week, National Labor Relations Board general counsel Jennifer Abruzzo declared war on “captive audience” meetings, essentially preventing employers from discussing unions with their employees. This statement came one day after President Joe Biden chided Amazon, saying, “Amazon here we come. Watch. Watch.”
Union leaders and their political supporters are the first to say that profits blind employers to their workers’ needs. But unions need dues-paying members just as much as employers need profits. And with membership rates in freefall, unions are using every trick in the book to box workers into joining. Workers deserve protection from dues-driven unions at least as much as they need protection from their employers. Senator Tim Scott recently introduced a bill to ensure that the true voice of workers is heard: the Employee Rights Act.
The ERA would bring American labor law into the 21st century. Unions had real purpose generations ago when dangerous conditions, unsafe hours, and child labor were common. But that’s not the case today. Most businesses understand the importance of protecting worker health and safety and paying good wages in a tight labor market; and a plethora of federal and state government agencies work to protect employees against businesses that cut corners in those areas.
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