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OpenMarket: Private Unions

  • Uber Publishes Core Principles to Guide Seattle's Union Election Procedures

    March 3, 2016

    Uber maintains that Seattle’s recent ordinance that extends collective bargaining privileges to ridesharing drivers is illegal. However, to cover its bases, Uber issued a letter to direct the Seattle Finance and Administrative Services (FAS) on how to go about its rulemaking responsibilities.

    In December 2015, Seattle became the first city to allow Uber and Lyft drivers to unionize. Most cities have avoided such laws because of the potential legal costs of defending the legislation. Legal experts argue that the law violates the National Labor Relations Act, which expressly excludes independent contractors from collective bargaining privileges....

  • A Majority of States Now Right to Work

    February 12, 2016

    For the first time, in a majority of states, workers can’t be fired from their job if they choose not to financially support a union. A much needed policy since most workers never voted for the union that represents them. Today, West Virginia’s legislature overrode Governor Earl Ray Tomblin’s veto of right-to-work legislation.

    Right to work will help the Mountain State’s struggling economy and increase worker freedom. Right-to-work laws make sure workers do not have to pay union dues as a condition of employment—they do not impair collective bargaining. Other than giving workers a choice, right to work is a boon for the economy.

    A state’s status as right to work influences industry location. An economic...

  • West Virginia Set to Enact Major Labor Reform with Prevailing Wage Repeal

    February 3, 2016

    West Virginia, which appears poised to become the nation’s 26th right to work state, may soon enact another major labor law reform. The state Senate is set to vote on a bill repealing the state’s prevailing wage laws. The legislation, HB 4005, was voted out of the Senate Government Organization Committee on Monday, February 1, and now moves to the full Senate.

    Prevailing wage laws set price floors for contractors working on government-funded projects. This often turns out to be the union wage, which hampers nonunion contractors’ ability to bid for such projects...

  • West Virginia: Prospect for a Right to Work Majority

    February 1, 2016

    West Virginia may soon become the nation’s 26th right to work state—making the number of right to work states a majority for the first time. The West Virginia Senate passed the right to work legislationSenate Bill 1, on Thursday, January 21. The state’s House of Delegates, where Republicans hold a 64-36 majority, held a public hearing on the bill last Friday, January 29.

    Republican lawmakers made passing right to work a priority after gaining control of both chambers of the legislature in 2014, in an effort to revive the state’s economy. “We’re the only state in the nation to have lost population,” ...

  • NLRB's Joint Employer Ruling Challenged in Court

    January 25, 2016

    CEI applauds Browning-Ferris’ stand against the National Labor Relations Board's upending of employment liability and flexibility, otherwise known as the new joint employment standard. 

    The NLRB regulators last year unilaterally changed the definition of who is a joint employer in a way that could expose tens of thousands of businesses nationwide to increased costs and liability by making one employer responsible for another’s actions. The NLRB’s action will block a path toward entrepreneurship, reduce job creation,...

  • Labor Policy Developments to Watch in the New Year

    January 22, 2016

    Labor policy reform was a fast-moving issue during in the past year. At the federal level, labor policy became more tilted in favor of union organizing, while state reform was a mixed bag.

    The National Labor Relations Board changed how union elections are conducted, made determining who your employer is a tough question, and made company email systems a union organizing tool.

    Outside the Beltway, Wisconsin became the 25th right-to-work state, giving workers the right to forgo paying union dues to a union...

  • Protecting American Workers and Job Creators with the Omnibus

    December 9, 2015

    This week, Congress is working against the clock to avert a government shutdown and pass new spending legislation before the current continuing resolution expires on Friday, December 11. As lawmakers continue to discuss a variety of policy riders during omnibus negotiations, here’s why the joint-employer rider should be a bipartisan no-brainer and be included in any spending legislation that funds the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB).

    The joint-employer policy rider prevents enforcement of the NLRB’s new joint-employer standard in the 2016 Labor, Health and Human Services Funding bill. The policy rider restores the traditional joint-employer standard, which fostered the creation of thousands of beneficial business relationships, including franchise businesses, contractors, and temporary staffing agencies.

    In August, the NLRB unilaterally changed the definition of...

  • NLRB Attack on McDonald's

    November 18, 2015

    No one accuses the government of being responsive to the public. Whether you are a veteran seeking care or need to renew your license at your local DMV, you can expect to wait. Another area where the public can expect to wait on the government: responses to public records requests. 

    Here, at the Competitive Enterprise Institute, we are all too familiar with waiting on FOIA requests. For example, “EPA has stonewalled CEI repeatedly and continues to slow-walk CEI’s ‘Windsor’ request, insisting it need only process 120,000 records at the glacial pace of 100 records processed per month; that is, it says it will conclude this production in 100 years.”

    On the other hand, the federal government doesn’t like to wait and will use its power to extract information...

  • Republicans Should Support Rep. King's Amendment to Prohibit Davis-Bacon Requirements

    November 4, 2015

    The House of Representatives is voting on the Highway Trust Fund this week. Numerous amendments have been added to the bill. One that should garner support from fiscal conservatives is Rep. Steve King’s (R-Iowa) amendment that makes sure tax dollars spent on federal construction are used efficiently by repealing Davis-Bacon Act price-fixing requirements for projects funded by the bill.

    The Davis-Bacon Act increases government construction costs by requiring contractors to pay prevailing wages on federally funded projects instead of market wages. Without having to pay inflated Davis-Bacon wages, the federal government could undertake more construction projects—build more bridges and buildings, employ more workers—or save the government money.

    Tax dollars should always be used wisely and there is no reason the federal government should use more of the taxpayers’ money...

  • Return of the Employee Free Choice Act

    October 26, 2015

    Labor law has dramatically changed under the Obama administration via the pro-union National Labor Relations Board. Many longstanding Board precedents have been tossed aside in favor of policies that inappropriately advantage union organizing.

    Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) wants to further tilt the playing field in favor of unions with the recent introduction of the Orwellian-named “Workplace Democracy Act.” 

    The Workplace Democracy Act (WDA) is as poorly named as any labor bill in recent memory—save the Employee...

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