House Subcommittee Examines Improvements to National Labor Relations Act

Today the Subcommittee on Health, Employment, Labor, and Pensions, chaired by Rep. Phil Roe (R-TN), examined proposals to improve the National Labor Relations Act (NLRA).  The NLRA, also called the Wagner Act, is a 1935 law that established the rights and obligations of workers and employers in regards to union elections, strikes, and collective bargaining.

Among the witnesses was Dr. Tim Kane, Chief Economist with the Hudson Institute, who described the positive impact the RAISE Act would have on the American economy.  The RAISE Act (H.R. 4385, sponsored by Rep. Todd Rokita, R-IN) is designed to allow employers to award performance incentives, including raises and bonuses, to workers who are bound to collective bargaining agreements without obstruction by union representatives.  Dr. Kane testified that overall productivity would increase an estimated 10% under the Act, which would allow increased wages for workers and larger profits for employers.  The increased productivity would also lead to increased hiring and job creation.

Another proposal for changes to the NLRA is the Secret Ballot Protection Act (H.R. 972), which was introduced by Chairman Roe.  This proposal would mandate that union elections be administered only through secret ballot elections, and remove the potential for intimidation or coercion of workers by unions, employers or other workers through ‘card-check’ designation or other informal methods.

Both the proposed changes to the NLRA are for the benefit of employers and workers alike.  One provides an economic boost in a time of sluggish growth, while the other reaffirms democratic principles in the workplace.  IFA continues to work to promote pro-growth workforce policies that will allow small businesses to fulfill their potential as job creators.