Biden’s pro-labor agenda continues to roll. In its next step to promote union membership growth, the Biden Administration issued its report outlining necessary legal and regulatory actions to promote union organizing. This report contains 70 recommendations that may be implemented to facilitate the growth of union membership across the U.S.
Much of the report’s recommendations focus on organizing federal workers but also changing government rules impeding organizing federal workers. The report identifies what it terms “Unnecessary Obstacles to Organizing” throughout the federal government. The report goes agency by agency identifying those obstacles that exist within the agency and its policies and recommends corrections to these organizing obstacles in the federal government.
Though much of the report focuses on the organization of government workers, it quickly turns to changes to law and policy necessary in the private sector. The report takes aim at what it refers to as anti-union campaigns. Of course, this refers to any communication by employers to their employees about what it means to be in a union. The Department of Labor (DOL) is advised to review its rules and policies around persuader reporting. Persuader reporting mostly refers to the use of third-party consultants that may be engaged to assist employers to develop communications explaining its position on unionization. These third parties often are necessary to counter the one-sided information already laid out by union organizers before a union campaign comes to light. But more importantly, it helps the employer avoid the often arcane and byzantine National Labor Relations Board rules around what may be illegal unfair labor practices (ULP’s) employers and their supervisors can unknowingly stumble into.
The report recommends extensive government communications and education encouraging union organizing. This will include increasing the posting of organizing and bargaining rights information on agency websites and social media platforms.
Huge federal contracting agencies such as the Department of Defense are instructed to verify its private employer contractors are posting notices of worker rights to organize and bargain collectively. This posting action adds a further requirement of a checklist that tracks compliance with the contract which of course requires distribution of pro organizing information.
The report also advises the DOL to improve its Workers.gov website. Currently this website communicates worker rights as laid out by various major employment laws such as the Fair Labor Standards Act and the National Labor Relations Act to name a few. This site will be expanded to include information on workers’ rights to organize and bargain collectively. This communications campaign will be extended out to small employers through the Small Business Administration (SBA). Small employers will be advised by the SBA of their obligation to respond legally and fairly to workers and provide training resources for employers on this.
Workers and the public in general will probably see a marked increase in public service announcements by high ranking government officials promoting union organizing and organizing rights. Further, government run resource centers promoting the benefits of unionization and “labor-management” partnerships will be opened.
And oh yea, buried deep in this report is a recommendation that the Office of Tax Policy at the Treasury Department review recent proposals identifying ways to make union dues eligible for tax credits or above the line deductions on worker’s income tax return. The Report also recommends review of proposals to deny tax deductibility for expenses incurred by employers for union avoidance activity. This would be for payment for professional advice on how to respond to union organizing.
The report goes on and on.
As noted in an EPTW article (EPTW Feb. 2), union memberships continue to languish despite their efforts, but through the Biden Administration efforts, the government is doing their organizing for them.
In summary, this report shows what the Biden Administration wants to do to help Organized Labor grow; however, without the ability to pass new law and develop more labor friendly regulations, the Biden Administration will be implementing as much as it can through its Agencies and Executive Orders.
To read more from this extensive report blueprinting how the Biden Administration proposes to increase union membership across the country, view the report here.
Remember, ASE supports employers’ positive employer-employee relations through its market compensation and policies and practices data, supervisory training and development, and employer communications resources and tools. For more information on how ASE can help your organization maintain constructive and open employment relations contact Michael Burns at 248-223-8039 or [email protected].
Source: White House Task Force on Worker Organizing and Empowerment Report to the President