On Tuesday, presidential candidate and current Senator Bernie Sanders (I-VT) announced that he, and ten Senate co-sponsors, would introduce the Workplace Democracy Act (S. 2142). The bill — a verbatim reiteration of two provisions of the Employee Free Choice Act in the 110th & 111th Congresses — would:
- certify a union as the exclusive bargaining representative based on a card check process rather than the current preferred method of NLRB secret ballot election; and
- allow a third-party arbitrator to impose wages, benefits, hours, work rules and other contract terms on parties unable to negotiate a contract in 120 days.
Fellow Democratic candidate Hillary Clinton was a co-sponsor of the Employee Free Choice Act (S. 1041) in the 110th Congress, but does not appear to have gone on record on Senator Sanders’ recently re-branded proposal. Perhaps the participants will be asked about the issue at the upcoming Democratic candidates debate.
More resources and coverage:
- “Will Labor Feel the Bern?” — US News & World Report
- “Overnight Regulation: Sanders Courts Unions With Labor Bill” — The Hill
- “Bernie Sanders Proposes Sweeping Labor Law Reforms” — Al Jazeera
- “Rumble: Bernie Sanders’ Workplace Democracy Act” — Russia Times
- “Sanders Works to Peel Union Support Away From Clinton” — Washington Examiner
- “Bernie Sanders Launches Pro-Union Bill As Battle For Organized Labor Intensifies” — The Guardian
- “How Bernie Sanders’ New Bill Would Help More Workers Unionize” — ThinkProgress
- “Bernie Bill Could Be A Big Win For Union Election Drives” — Daily Caller