Orrin Hatch Makes the Case for the ERA

In a recent Washington Examiner op-ed column, Sen. Orrin Hatch (R-UT) explained why he introduced the Employee Rights Act (ERA):

I want to empower America’s workers with the freedoms they deserve. That’s why I have introduced the Employee Rights Act, a pro-growth, worker-centered reform that brings much-needed change to the workplace by making unions more democratic. My bill takes several critical steps to protect the rights of America’s work force.

Among these is the guarantee of a secret ballot election. Labor organizers can scrap the democratic process altogether in favor of public card signatures—the NLRB reports that “card checks,” publicly staged to supplant a private vote, are used by labor organizers in almost 40 percent of union recognition procedures. Secret ballot elections are essential to ending the questionable practices that many unions have long used against workers to intimidate and bully them into submission,” Sen. Hatch explains, “The abusive tactic known as ‘card check’ illustrates why secret ballots are so necessary.”

The ERA would also “[make] labor organizations more accountable to their members by requiring unions to hold recertification elections when companies experience significant turnover.” Government data shows that less than 10 percent of union members ever voted for the union currently “representing” them, showing the need for periodic referendums on union representation.

This—along with paycheck protection and other pro-employee provisions—is why the ERA has gained so much popularity. More than 165 members of Congress co-sponsor the legislation, while 80 percent of Americans support its key reforms.

The ERA is an idea whose time has come.