CEI Joins More than 50 Organizations Urging Congress to Support the Employee Rights Act

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Dear Members of Congress:

On behalf of our organizations and the millions of Americans we represent across all fifty states, we encourage you to cosponsor the Employee Rights Act (H.R. 2723, S. 1774), introduced by Rep. Phil Roe and Sen. Orrin Hatch. This important bill represents the first major update to federal labor law in 70 years, and would provide several crucial protections to American workers.

This legislation would allow American workers an unencumbered opportunity to make their voice heard on whether they wish to belong to a union. According to a 2016 report from the Heritage Foundation, just 6 percent workers represented by a union nationwide actually voted for the union that represents them. The other 94 percent either voted against the union, or simply inherited a union that was voted in years ago. The

Employee Rights Act (ERA) would ensure unions remain accountable to workers by requiring periodic recertification referendums after significant workforce turnover, asking workers if they wish to remain represented by their current union.

Importantly, these referendums – as well as first-time union organizing votes – would be required to be conducted by secret paper ballot election, ending the practice of “card check” that requires workers to publicly declare their opinion, thereby opening themselves up to well-documented harassment and intimidation. Americans vote for their representation in Congress by secret ballot, and should be afforded this same right in the workplace.

Another important provision of the ERA is ending the practice of unions spending workers’ dues on political advocacy without first receiving their permission. In 2016, 43 percent of union households supported a Republican for president. Yet over the last four years, unions reported sending over $500 million of members’ dues to left-wing advocacy organizations. No one should be forced to fund causes they don’t believe in, and this bill would guarantee that protection by requiring unions to receive “opt-in” permission before spending dues on political advocacy.

This bill also contains several other commonsense reforms, such as allowing workers to opt out of having their personal information shared with a union, and strengthening worker protections by forbidding unions from using intimidation, threats, and violence to coerce workers.

These provisions are overwhelmingly popular with the American people, including with union households. The American people have demonstrated their frustration with government that benefits special interests at the expense of the individual, and labor law is no exception –made clear by the fact that union membership has been cut in half since 1983.

We encourage you and your colleagues to take advantage of this mandate from voters, and to return power to the American worker. We encourage you to cosponsor H.R. 2723 and S. 1774, the Employee Rights Act, and thank you for your consideration.


Akash Chougule, Director of Policy
Americans for Prosperity

Leigh Hixon, Senior Director of Policy Relations
Alabama Policy Institute

Lisa B. Nelson, CEO
ALEC Action

Daniel Schneider, Executive Director
American Conservative Union

Peter J. Thomas, Chairman
Americans for Constitutional Liberty

Steve Pociask, President
American Consumer Institute

Grover Norquist, President
Americans for Tax Reform

Scot Mussi, President
Arizona Free Enterprise club

David Stevenson, Director, Center for Energy Competitiveness
Caesar Rodney Institute

Garrett Ballengee, Executive Director
Cardinal Institute

Russ Brown, President
Center for Independent Employees

Rick Berman, Executive Director
Center for Union Facts

Matt Patterson, Executive Director
Center for Worker Freedom

Kim Crockett, Vice President and General Counsel
Center of the American Experiment

Francis X. De Luca, President
Civitas Action

David McIntosh, President
Club for Growth

Michael J. Bowen, CEO
Coalition For a Strong America

Chip DeMoss, CEO
Compact for America Action

Kent Lassman, President
Competitive Enterprise Institute

Mark Lucas, Executive Director
Concerned Veterans for America

Matthew Kandrach, President
Consumer Action for a Strong Economy (CASE)

Diana Furchgott-Roth
Former Chief Economist at U.S. Dept. of Labor

F. Vincent Vernuccio, JD
Former Special Assistant to the Assistant Secretary for Administration and Management at the U.S. Dept. of Labor

Tom McCabe, CEO
Freedom Foundation

Nathan Nascimento, Vice President of Policy
Freedom Partners Chamber of Commerce

Adam Brandon, President and CEO

David Barnes, Policy Director
Generation Opportunity

Victor Riches, President & COO
Goldwater Institute

Michael A. Needham, Chief Executive Officer
Heritage Action for America

Heather R. Higgins, President and CEO
Independent Women’s Voice

Wayne Hoffman, President
Idaho Freedom Foundation

Kory Swanson, President and CEO
John Locke Foundation

Michael J. Reitz, Executive Vice President
Mackinac Center for Public Policy

Tony Daunt, Executive Director
Michigan Freedom Fund

Forest Thigpen, President
Mississippi Center for Public Policy

Bill & Barbara Eames, Founders
Morris Patriots

Andy Ellen, President and General Counsel
North Carolina Retail Merchants Association

Abhay Patel, Interim CEO
Pelican Institute for Public Policy

Mike Stenhouse, CEO
Rhode Island Center for Freedom and Prosperity

Harry C. Alford, President/CEO
National Black Chamber of Commerce

Pete Sepp, President
National Taxpayers Union

John A. Tsarpalas, President
Nevada Policy Research Institute

George Kneisser, Executive Director
New Jersey Citizens for Property Tax Reform

Tim Mooney, Founder
Save Our Secret Ballot

William Whipple III, President
Secure America’s Future Economy

Michael A. Aguilar, Executive Director
Southern New Mexico Business Alliance

David Williams, President
Taxpayers Protection Alliance

Judson Phillips, Founder
Tea Party Nation

Brent Southwell, Founder
Texas Business Coalition

Brooke Rollins, President
Texas Public Policy Foundation

Brett Healy, President
The John K. MacIver Institute for Public Policy

Daniel Garza, Executive Director
The LIBRE Initiative

Carl Bearden, Executive Director
United for Missouri

Chris Reader, Director of Health and Human Resources Policy
Wisconsin Manufacturers and Commerce