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OpenMarket: Private Unions

  • Appropriations Committee Moves to Defund Harmful Labor Regulations

    July 14, 2016

    Yesterday, the full House Appropriations Committee held a markup of the Labor, Health and Human Services appropriations bill, which defunds numerous harmful regulations implemented by the Department of Labor (DOL) and the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB). These rulings from the past few years include the DOL’s overtime and fiduciary rules, the NLRB’s new joint employer standard, and ambush election rules among others....
  • CEI Supports Defunding Obama's Joint Employer Standard in House Appropriations Bill

    July 13, 2016

    This week, the U.S. House Appropriations Committee will markup the Fiscal Year 2017 Labor, Health and Human Services, and Education Appropriations bill. CEI commends the committee for including a provision in the bill that would effectively defund the implementation of the National Labor Relations Board’s (NLRB) new joint employer standard. This new standard hinders the creation of tens of thousands of beneficial business relationships including franchise businesses, contractors, and temporary staffing agencies.

    In August 2015, the NLRB unilaterally redefined the concept of joint employment. Under its new definition, companies may be held liable for labor violations committed by other employers with whom they contract — even if they do not exercise direct control over that company or its employees.

    By exposing employers to liability for the practices of contractors,...

  • NLRB Overturns Precedent, Makes Organizing Two Workplaces At Once Easier

    July 11, 2016

    In a case involving Browning-Ferris Industries, a National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) decision overturned longstanding precedent regarding joint employer status—when two employers in a contractual relationship assume joint liability and bargaining responsibilities over certain employees.

    Simply, the NLRB’s new joint employer standard makes it much more likely that a joint employer relationship, and the liability that goes along with it, is found. This unnecessarily exposes thousands of businesses to increased liabilities, creates roadblocks for entrepreneurs...

  • The Fight for Union Dues Independence

    July 1, 2016

    This holiday weekend, we celebrate the birth of our great country. Two hundred and forty years ago, the United States adopted the Declaration of Independence and freed itself from the tyranny of the British Empire.

    Stimulating the move to sever ties from the British included the Stamp Act of 1765, which taxed all printed paper used by Americans, along with the Sugar Act of 1764 and the...

  • Judge Halts Labor Department Persuader Rule for Now

    June 28, 2016

    A federal judge in Texas yesterday issued a preliminary injunction blocking the Department of Labor (DOL) from implementing its “persuader rule,” under which employers would be required...
  • Speaker Ryan's Deregulatory Report: Clamp Down on Federal Labor Agencies' Overreach

    June 14, 2016

    Today, House Speaker Paul Ryan (R-Wisc.) released his plan for how to modernize our federal regulatory system in order to jumpstart the economy. This is the third installment in his six-part “A Better Way,” agenda for Congress. Ryan announced the anti-poverty and national security...
  • Heavily Scrutinized NLRB Joint Employer Standard Heads to Court

    June 9, 2016

    Most people can pretty easily tell you who their boss is, but the Obama administration has made that a difficult question. In a decision last summer involving the waste management company Browning-Ferris Industries, the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) overturned 30-year old precedent that determines when a "joint employment" relationship exists.

    Since the 1980s, a company assumed joint employer liability—responsible for labor violations committed by an employer they contract with—when they directly controlled the terms and conditions of workers at another business. In the Browning-Ferris case, the NLRB redefined when a joint employer relationship can be established so greatly that they do not need “any evidence of direct or immediate control” and “...

  • NLRB Downplays Pro-Union Threats

    May 26, 2016

    Union bias permeates the actions of the current National Labor Relations Board (NLRB). This is hardly surprising since a former union lawyer, Richard Griffin, holds the powerful position of Board General Counsel and a majority of Board members have a pro-union background.

    But however significant the pro-union bias is at the NLRB, the members should still be able to uphold basic elements of the National Labor Relations Act. The NLRB’s predisposition to favor labor unions should not override their duty to impartially enforce the Act.

    One duty of the Board is to ensure employees are free to self-determine their own representation. Part of that requires “free and fair elections.” Any observer of the Board knows that the current NLRB members take this duty extremely seriously...

  • Unions and Environmentalists Oppose Plan to Address California's Rising Housing Costs

    May 25, 2016

    Everyone’s for affordable housing—except, it seems, some unions and environmentalists.

    On May 18, a coalition of unions and environmental advocacy groups—including the State Building & Construction Trades Council and Natural Resources Defense Council—wrote to lawmakers to voice their opposition to a proposal by Governor Jerry Brown to encourage more building of lower-cost housing by expediting the state’s environmental impact review process.

    Brown’s proposal would exempt projects planned on land zoned for high-density development from burdensome review under the California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA). Note that those projects would already have had to qualify under local zoning ordinances.

    Green activists are often hostile to development in general....

  • Air Traffic Control Reform Opponents Still Miss the Big Picture, Repeat Errors

    May 16, 2016

    Air traffic control is in dire need of reform and modernization, and there is a great plan in the House FAA bill to do just that. But a handful of conservative activists have launched a campaign to roil reform. Last week, I published two posts debunking false claims made by critics. While the vast majority of free market advocates familiar with the issue support the air traffic control corporatization plan contained in the House’s AIRR Act, a small group of anti-union conservative advocates opposes these reforms, citing concerns over labor unions.

    The reform plan would transfer the...


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