June 14, 2018

Cortez Masto Cosponsors Legislation to Strengthen Unions and Protect Workers’ Rights to Collective Bargaining

Washington, D.C. – U.S. Senator Catherine Cortez Masto (D-Nev.) cosponsored the Workers’ Freedom to Negotiate Act of 2018, legislation led by Senator Patty Murray (D-Wash.), to strengthen union protections and support workers’ fundamental rights to organize and negotiate for better wages and working conditions.

“Unions make our workplaces safer, more equitable and have helped millions of hardworking men and women advocate for fair treatment and better wages,” said Cortez Masto. “At a time when unions are under unprecedented attack, we must ensure that workers’ fundamental right to collectively bargain is protected.” 

BACKGROUND:

The Workers’ Freedom to Negotiate Act: 

  • Strengthens protections for workers by prohibiting “permanent replacement” of workers who exercise their right to strike.
  • Bans forced individual dispute resolution, clarifying that workers’ right to act collectively includes the right to collectively vindicate their legal rights.
  • Streamlines union election procedures by eliminating automatic delay periods.
  • Includes all the provisions of the WAGE Act, which amends the National Labor Relations Act by:
    • Strengthening penalties on corporations that violate workers’ rights.
    • Creating a mandatory mediation and arbitration process to ensure corporations and newly formed unions reach a first contract.

A copy of the bill can be found HERE. 

The Workers’ Freedom to Negotiate Act is cosponsored by U.S. Senators Charles Schumer (D-N.Y.), Patty Murray (D-Wash.), Kirsten Gillibrand (D-N.Y.), Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.), Christopher Van Hollen (D-Md.), Sheldon Whitehouse (D-R.I.), Gary Peters (D-Mich.), Richard Durbin (D-Ill.), Jeffrey Merkley (D-Ore.), Robert P. Casey (D-Penn.), Jack Reed (D-R.I.), Edward J. Markey (D-Mass.), Tammy Baldwin (D-Wis.), Mazie Hirono (D-Hawaii), Debbie Stabenow (D-Mich.), Kamala D. Harris (D-Calif.), Richard Blumenthal (D-Conn.), Cory Booker (D-N.J.), Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.), Martin Heinrich (D-N.M.), Tina Smith (D-Minn.), Thomas R. Carper (D-Del.), Tom Udall (D-N.M.), Sherrod Brown (D-Ohio), Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.), Robert Menendez (D-N.J.), Ron Wyden (D-Ore.), and Chris Coons (D-Del.).

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