Newt Gingrich: Pass the ERA

In a recent op-ed column, former House Speaker Newt Gingrich praised the Employee Rights Act’s (ERA) reforms, noting their popularity across party lines. Gingrich urged Congress to pass the ERA this year. Here’s what he wrote:

Another good legislative goal for Republicans would be passing the Employee Rights Act. This is a no-brainer for GOP candidates running in union-controlled states because–among other things–it guarantees most employees’ rights to have secret paper ballot elections, prevents unions from pressuring employers against such elections, and requires routine secret ballot referendums to let employees decide if they want to remain unionized.

Nationally, a poll by the Opinion Research Corporation found that protecting secret-ballot elections is supported by 79 percent of union households and 81 percent of non-union households. Even 81 percent of Democrats polled agreed that most employees should have the right to secret ballot elections. The ORC poll also found that 71 percent of union households supported periodic elections to recertify unions, and 83 percent of non-union households supported these referendums.

Importantly, these ideas polled high in some important states–Michigan, Wisconsin, Pennsylvania, and Ohio. Seventy-two percent of union households in these states supported secret ballots, and 68 percent approved of routine recertification elections.

Republicans in right-to-work states should also support the Employee Rights Act. According to the Center for Union Facts, unions directed more than $1.1 billion in union dues to liberal political groups from 2010 to 2016. The Democratic Governors Association and Planned Parenthood were among the top ten recipients. Much of this money is being spent to strengthen union influence and bring more and more states under union control.

The Employee Rights Act would require unions to get prior permission from workers before union dues are spent on anything other than collective bargaining. This political protection provision has resounding support–81 percent in union households, 85 percent in non-union households, and 79 percent in union homes in Michigan, Wisconsin, Pennsylvania, and Ohio.