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CDW Slams Renewed Efforts to Force through Dangerous PRO Act

Washington, DC – Recent reports have indicated that labor organizations are once again demanding the Senate pass the woefully misguided Protecting the Right to Organize (PRO) Act (H.R. 842, S. 420).

The following statement can be attributed to CDW Chair Kristen Swearingen:

“The PRO Act is a wishlist of radical labor policies that would upend federal labor law, abandon the government’s responsibility to remain neutral in labor-management relations, and do significant damage to the economy. It would infringe on the rights of workers and employers alike and would cost millions of American jobs, threaten vital supply chains already struggling to recover from the COVID-19 pandemic, and diminish opportunities for entrepreneurs and small business owners.

“The bill tries to increase union density and union leverage at the bargaining table at any cost. The Board is completely ignoring the negative impacts this rulemaking could have on workers, businesses, and the economy. For example, an American Action Forum study found the bill’s independent contractor provision could cost up to $57 billion nationwide, and the joint-employer changes would cost franchises up to $33.3 billion a year, lead to over 350,000 job losses, and increase lawsuits by 93%.

“Voters too recognize that this bill is a disaster. A national survey conducted by Forbes Tate found the following opposition to major provisions within the PRO Act:

  • 70% of voters are concerned about the PRO Act abolishing state right-to-work protections;
  • 75% are concerned about the bill’s efforts to require employers to turn over employee personal information to union organizers without the consent of the employee;
  • 67% are concerned about eliminating secret ballot elections in favor of a system where votes are revealed to everyone;
  • 70% are concerned that the PRO Act limits workers’ ability to work as independent contractors; and
  • 65% are concerned the bill would upend the franchise business model, turning existing owners of franchises into employees of the brand and reducing new franchise ownership opportunities.

“The PRO Act would be a disaster for employees, employers, and the economy. At a time of soaring inflation, signs of a pending recession, supply chain disruptions, and severe workforce shortages, Congress should focus instead on finding ways to alleviate some of the economic pain Americans are feeling nationwide.”

CDW Sends Letter to House Committee Cautioning against PRO Act, NLRB Overreach

Washington, DC – On September 12, CDW sent a letter to the House Education and Labor Committee expressing serious concerns with the Protecting the Right to Organize (PRO) Act and recent activity and policies pursued by the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) and its General Counsel, Jennifer Abruzzo.

The following statement can be attributed to CDW Chair Kristen Swearingen:

“Economic analyses have proven that the PRO Act would have devastating consequences for the economy. It would cause economic upheaval at a time when our economy is still struggling with recovering from the COVID-19 pandemic. Inflation is rising, fears of a recession are top of mind, supply chains continue to lag behind demand, and workforce shortages are limiting economic growth. Particularly concerning at this moment in time is the PRO Act’s provision removing the 70-year ban on secondary strikes. As seen by the recently threatened rail strike, this provision alone could shut down the country’s supply chain. Surveys have also shown that the PRO Act is not supported by the public. Congress should abandon the PRO Act and work towards helping the economy get back on track.

“At the same time as Congress pursues this misguided legislation, the NLRB and General Counsel Abruzzo are attempting to rewrite labor law to force unions on workers whether they want one or not. They are trying to eliminate secret ballots in union representation elections and wipe out employers’ First Amendment rights during union organizing campaigns. They are putting employers in an impossible position by forcing them to tolerate discriminatory behavior in the workplace despite the clear violation of federal anti-discrimination laws that such tolerance would require. The Board is pursuing a new joint-employer standard that would destroy small and local businesses. This NLRB and General Counsel Abruzzo are pursuing radical policies without any consideration for the damaging effects they will cause for the regulated community.

“And now, there are allegations that NLRB staff are colluding with labor unions in representation elections and unfair labor practices cases against specific employers. This is simply beyond the pale. The NLRB is supposed to be a neutral arbiter of the law, and instead, staffers are tilting the balance in favor of their preferred side.

“Congress should demand the NLRB and General Counsel Abruzzo stop rewriting labor law to impose their own beliefs on the nation’s economy. The economy simply cannot right itself while simultaneously struggling to keep up with the never-ending radicalization of labor policy.”

Business Leaders Respond To President Biden’s State of the Union Address

Business leaders warn that the president’s push for the Protecting the Right to Organize (PRO) Act will exacerbate domestic and global challenges.  

Washington, D.C. – The Coalition for a Democratic Workplace (CDW), composed of hundreds of organizations representing millions of businesses that employ tens of millions of workers nationwide in nearly every industry, released the following statement today in response to President Biden’s State of the Union address.

The following statement is attributable to CDW Chair Kristen Swearingen:

“The President’s continued push for Congress to pass the stalled, misguided and divisive Protecting the Right to Organize (PRO) Act undermines his calls for unity and threatens our economy. The so-called “PRO” Act would re-write our nation’s labor laws with the sole purpose of boosting the number of dues paying union members at the expense of workers’ rights, Main Street consumers, entrepreneurs, and small and local businesses. This legislation will also exacerbate the economic challenges our country faces with the supply chain crisis and inflation – problems that the ongoing impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic and the conflict in Ukraine will continue to complicate in the coming months.

“Now is the time for our government to pursue policies that promote economic stability in the face of these disruptions to the global economy and supply chain. It is not a time to impose radical changes that promise to upend our economy. We currently have a highly competitive job market where employers are offering good wages, signing bonuses, better benefits and more flexible schedules. Rather than dismantling the most pro-worker job market in decades, the government should focus on combatting inflation and alleviating the supply chain crisis, which threaten opportunities for all Americans.

“The push to pass the PRO Act will most certainly backfire on Democrats come November as American workers and their families have time and again rejected the repeated attempts to force them into unions and take away their rights and freedoms. The president should recognize this and redirect his efforts toward truly uniting and empowering Americans through policies that stabilize our economy and support a competitive job market,”

 

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About The Coalition for a Democratic Workplace

CDW is a broad-based coalition of hundreds of organizations representing hundreds of thousands of employers and millions of employees in various industries across the country concerned with a long-standing effort by some in the labor movement to make radical changes to the National Labor Relations Act without regard to the severely negative impact they would have on employees, employers, and the economy. CDW was originally formed in 2005 in opposition to the so-called Employee Free Choice Act (EFCA) – a bill similar to the PRO Act – that would have stripped employees of the right to secret ballots in union representation elections and allowed arbitrators to set contract terms regardless of the consequence to workers or businesses.

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Business Leaders Slam National Labor Relations Board Decision To Overturn Amazon Union Election Results

NLRB overturning the will of workers who overwhelmingly rejected unionization

Washington, D.C. – The Coalition for a Democratic Workplace (CDW), composed of hundreds of organizations representing millions of businesses that employ tens of millions of workers nationwide in nearly every industry, released the following statement today in response the National Labor Relations Board issuing a Decision and Direction of a Second Election and officially overturning the union election results at BHM1.

The following statement is attributable to CDW Chair Kristen Swearingen:

“It’s disappointing that the NLRB is continuing to side with Big Labor by setting aside the will of American workers. All workers during the election had months to listen to and weigh both sides and make a decision on their own of what was best for them and their families. Amazon even made it easier and more convenient to vote, but a massive disinformation campaign spread by unions about voting-by-mail, which the union requested, appears to have deceived members of the NLRB.

“Even though workers overwhelmingly rejected forming a union by a two-to-one margin, union bosses will get another chance to deceive, harass, pressure and intimidate workers in Birmingham to boost union ranks. These same union bosses are pushing the PRO Act, which would fundamentally change labor laws on a national scale and enable unions to fix elections to boost union membership at the expense of workers, small and local businesses, entrepreneurs and Main Street consumers.

“The decision to overturn the election is not surprising will be the first step towards taking away workers’ rights and choice.

“It appears the NLRB is already trying to enact the PRO Act by stacking the deck in favor of unions in what could  become the norm as Big Labor attempts to organize workers across the country. With former union employees and pro-union advocates in charge of the NLRB, we can expect decisions like these to become commonplace if the PRO Act is passed into law. This decision should be a clear sign to American workers about what is at stake when their rights are stripped away and their democratic vote is tossed out.”

Click here for more information on the negative impacts of the PRO Act.

 

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About The Coalition for a Democratic Workplace

CDW is a broad-based coalition of hundreds of organizations representing hundreds of thousands of employers and millions of employees in various industries across the country concerned with a long-standing effort by some in the labor movement to make radical changes to the National Labor Relations Act without regard to the severely negative impact they would have on employees, employers, and the economy. CDW was originally formed in 2005 in opposition to the so-called Employee Free Choice Act (EFCA) – a bill similar to the PRO Act – that would have stripped employees of the right to secret ballots in union representation elections and allowed arbitrators to set contract terms regardless of the consequence to workers or businesses.

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STUDY: Proposed Labor Provisions In Budget Reconciliation Bill Would Cost U.S. Billions in Tax Revenue Loss And Force Thousands of Businesses to Close or Move Operations and Jobs Overseas

Business leaders also said the report shows that the revenue produced by increased Unfair Labor Practice (ULP) fines would be vastly offset by the reduced economic activity it causes.

Washington, D.C. – A new study conducted by George Washington University Adjunct Professor of Economics Diana Furchtgott-Roth found that the provisions in the U.S. House budget reconciliation bill creating new penalties under federal labor laws could put thousands of U.S. employers out of business and result in a $33 billion revenue loss in the franchise industry alone and a significant reduction in the federal government’s tax base due to companies moving operations off shore. The labor provisions, which are politically driven and constitute fundamental change to 85-year old statutory framework of the National Labor Relations Act, were tucked into the massive reconciliation bill as organized labor’s number one legislative priority, the Protecting Right to Organize (PRO) Act, stalled.

Key findings of the study:

  • Imposing new civil penalties of $50,000 to $100,000 would not gain $39 million over 10 years but would lose revenue, because some employers would move offshore, and others would become less productive and/or hire fewer workers, resulting in a loss of Federal, State, and Social Security tax revenue from the erosion of the tax base and from lower corporate profits and income levels.
  • The average franchise would lose up to $142,000 in profits if the employees of a franchisee were required to be employed by a unionized franchisor, affecting 233,000 small business franchise owners across the country.
  • Corporate tax losses for franchised businesses would range from $360 million to $2.1 billion annually.
  • Federal, State, and Social Security losses in tax revenue for franchised businesses would range from $2 billion to $6 billion.
  • This reduced economic activity and commensurate decline in tax revenues would surpass the $39 million CBO estimate over 10 years of revenue generated from increased civil penalties for ULPs.
  • The provision would disproportionately disadvantage small businesses, who may make more unintentional errors because they do not have the human resources departments or the legal expertise of larger corporations – putting tens of thousands of small businesses at risk.

Kristen Swearingen, Chair of the Coalition for a Democratic Workplace (CDW), composed of more than 600 major business organizations, said the report illustrates how the proposed increase in fines would hinder the nation’s economic recovery and potentially put thousands of small businesses out of business, especially with unions now in control of the National Labor Relations Board.

“This report shows that the poorly-vetted and radical changes to labor laws come with a big cost and would cripple small businesses, shrink the U.S. tax base and derail our country’s fragile economic recovery. With former union employees now controlling the NLRB and deciding who gets fined, we could see a massive wave of businesses closing or moving their operations and jobs overseas,” stated Swearingen.

Swearingen said the fines would cause significant economic impact on the franchising industry alone.

“An average franchise owner profits $433,000 annually, so a few of these fines would wipe them out. These fines also disincentivize entrepreneurs from starting a franchise in the first place. Bottomline, these fines are expected to wipe out up to $33 billion in revenue for franchisers and put the 233,000 small business franchise owners at risk of shutting down for good, negating any benefit of the increased fines.”

Swearingen went on to say that these fines will cause further economic damage and hurt workers by forcing companies to move operations and jobs offshore.

“In the end, it will be American workers and consumers that will pay the price for these increased and unnecessary fines,” said Swearingen. “Manufacturing and service companies, which often use union labor, will be forced to consider moving their operations outside of the U.S. to avoid these fines and drastic changes to established labor law. The ones that do stay may choose to operate in a diminished capacity in order to avoid the fines for small and technical infractions. These fines will result in untold economic damage from reduced economic activity from businesses across the U.S.”

 

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About The Coalition for a Democratic Workplace

CDW is a broad-based coalition of hundreds of organizations representing hundreds of thousands of employers and millions of employees in various industries across the country concerned with a long-standing effort by some in the labor movement to make radical changes to the National Labor Relations Act without regard to the severely negative impact they would have on employees, employers, and the economy. CDW was originally formed in 2005 in opposition to the so-called Employee Free Choice Act (EFCA) – a bill similar to the PRO Act – that would have stripped employees of the right to secret ballots in union representation elections and allowed arbitrators to set contract terms regardless of the consequence to workers or businesses.

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Business Leaders Rip Union Bosses for Threatening Strikes During Supply Chain Crisis

Group says if PRO Act becomes law, unions could hold the U.S. economy hostage

Washington, D.C. – The Coalition for a Democratic Workplace (CDW), composed of more than 600 major business organizations, released the following statement in response to unions’ increasing calls for strikes that could significantly exacerbate the supply chain crisis plaguing nearly every industry and threatening the U.S. economy.

Kristen Swearingen, Chair of the Coalition for a Democratic Workplace, stated that union bosses threatening to strike during this supply chain crisis is unconscionable and that ultimately U.S. workers and consumers could face severe economic impacts – from higher prices for goods to job loss – if workers don’t have supplies needed for manufacturing or products to stock shelves.

“We are in the midst of one of the worst supply chain crises in our lifetime. Now is a time when businesses and union leaders should be working together to get goods produced and shipped, because otherwise everyone will lose, from small business owners to workers to consumers,” stated Swearingen.

Swearingen went on to state that the current supply chain crisis would be significantly exacerbated if the PRO Act becomes law, including some of the legislation’s measures that unions have successfully inserted into the House budget reconciliation bill.

“The PRO Act’s elimination of secondary boycotts is designed to allow unions the ability to disrupt supply chains to pressure employers into recognizing a union without a secret ballot election or to get leverage for collective bargaining,” stated Swearingen. “It allows unions to target the weakest businesses in the supply chain – generally smaller ones – and stop their operations in order to get them, consumers, politicians, and others in the supply chain to force the target employer to yield to labor’s demands. It would create a situation where strikes that can bring down the economy, like the port labor disputes, would become common occurrence.”

A recent report found that the proposed labor provisions in the U.S. House budget reconciliation bill would enact sweeping changes to federal labor law that would push more workers into unions, which could further exacerbate the supply chain crisis that is threatening the country’s economy.

“From tax breaks for union dues to attacking independent contracting to souring the employer-worker relationship, these provisions only serve to boost the power and influence of unions while preventing workers from exercising their essential rights and freedoms.”

Swearingen concluded, “We strongly urge Members of Congress to oppose these anti-worker labor provisions in the budget reconciliation bill and the PRO Act to prevent the forced unionization of American workers against their will. Given the severe supply chain predicament we are facing, enacting even some of these measures would stall efforts to resolve this very serious crisis and cripple the U.S. economy.”

 

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About The Coalition for a Democratic Workplace

The Coalition for a Democratic Workplace (CDW) represents more than 600 major business organizations including the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, National Small Business Association, National Restaurant Association, National Association of Home Builders, National Retail Federation, National Grocers Association, International Franchise Association, National Association of Manufacturers, International Council of Shopping Centers and American Trucking Association.

CDW is a broad-based coalition of hundreds of organizations representing hundreds of thousands of employers and millions of employees in various industries across the country concerned with a long-standing effort by some in the labor movement to make radical changes to the National Labor Relations Act without regard to the severely negative impact they would have on employees, employers, and the economy. CDW was originally formed in 2005 in opposition to the so-called Employee Free Choice Act (EFCA) – a bill similar to the PRO Act – that would have stripped employees of the right to secret ballots in union representation elections and allowed arbitrators to set contract terms regardless of the consequence to workers or businesses.

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CDW Sends Letter to Hill Opposing Radical Labor Provisions in Reconciliation Bill

Washington, DC – On October 4, CDW sent a letter to all members of Congress laying out the radical labor provisions being pushed through the partisan reconciliation bill. The bill includes:

 

  • excessive civil monetary penalties for any and all violations of the NLRA;
  • personal liability for directors and officers;
  • new violations of the NLRA;
  • union neutrality requirements for direct care grants; and
  • funding for electronic voting systems in union elections.

Implementation of these policies will have devastating consequences for the economy, especially at a time where businesses across the country are still struggling to survive the pandemic and economic downturn.

As CDW explains in the letter, “These provisions are significant, substantive policy changes and are therefore inappropriate for inclusion in the Reconciliation Bill.” They are radical changes to current law, and Congress should be required to go through regular order to implement them.

Report: Labor Provisions In Budget Reconciliation Bill Undermine Workers’ Freedoms

Report shows that Big Labor is trying to sneak their anti-worker agenda in the budget reconciliation bill.

Washington, D.C. – A new report by the Institute for the American Worker (I4AW) found that the proposed labor provisions in the U.S. House budget reconciliation bill would enact sweeping changes to federal labor law that would severely undermine workers’ freedoms in an attempt to push more workers into unions.

The report identified the following anti-worker provisions in the House budget reconciliation bill:

  • Preventing employers from discussing the downside of unionizing with employees, making it harder for workers to cast an informed vote.
  • Imposing punitive fines for technical violations, giving unions financial leverage to pressure employers into not asking for secret ballot elections and further threatening officers with personal liability.
  • Providing tax breaks for workers who pay full union dues, including those that fund union political campaigns.
  • Denying tax credit eligibility for electric vehicles manufactured at non-union facilities.
  • Heavily funding a forthcoming Department of Labor (DOL) initiative to reclassify freelancers and independent contractors as employees.
  • Prohibiting employers from locking out employees during labor disputes or hiring permanent replacement workers during strikes.
  • Prohibiting employers and employees from using arbitration to resolve class grievances, requiring such disputes to go through the court system instead.

Kristen Swearingen, Chair of the Coalition for a Democratic Workplace (CDW), composed of more than 600 major business and industry groups representing millions of businesses that employ tens of millions of workers nationwide, said the report illustrates how the proposed labor provisions will undermine worker freedoms.

“These pro-union labor provisions in the proposed House budget reconciliation bill are drastic and radical changes to established labor law that only serve to boost union membership at the expense of American workers,” stated Swearingen. “From tax breaks for union dues to attacking independent contracting to souring the employer-worker relationship, these provisions only serve to boost the power and influence of unions while preventing workers from exercising their essential rights and freedoms.”

Swearingen went on to say that these provisions were only included because the Protecting the Right to Organize (PRO) Act has stalled in the U.S. Senate due to a lack of support.

“Union bosses and their allies have resorted to using the budget reconciliation bill to implement their anti-worker agenda, because the dangerous and misguided PRO Act couldn’t muster enough support on its own in the Senate,” said Swearingen. “Big Labor’s lobbyists have chosen to use the budget reconciliation bill as its vehicle to sneak in their partisan and anti-worker policies, because they are desperate to force American workers into their ranks and save their bottom line.”

Swearingen concluded, “We strongly urge Members of Congress to oppose these anti-worker labor provisions in the budget reconciliation bill to prevent the forced unionization of American workers.”

 

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About The Coalition for a Democratic Workplace

CDW is a broad-based coalition of hundreds of organizations representing hundreds of thousands of employers and millions of employees in various industries across the country concerned with a long-standing effort by some in the labor movement to make radical changes to the National Labor Relations Act without regard to the severely negative impact they would have on employees, employers, and the economy. CDW was originally formed in 2005 in opposition to the so-called Employee Free Choice Act (EFCA) – a bill similar to the PRO Act – that would have stripped employees of the right to secret ballots in union representation elections and allowed arbitrators to set contract terms regardless of the consequence to workers or businesses.

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TOP BUSINESS LEADERS APPLAUD GOVERNOR NEWSOM FOR VETOING ANTI-WORKER CARD CHECK LEGISLATION

Coalition Of Business Leaders Say Even One Of The Most Liberal Governors In America Doesn’t Support Key Provision In PRO Act  

Washington, D.C. – The Coalition for a Democratic Workplace (CDW), composed of more than 600 major business organizations, representing millions of businesses employing tens of millions of workers nationwide, released the following statement in response to Governor Gavin Newsom (D-CA) vetoing Assembly Bill (AB) 616, which would have allowed agricultural employees to elect a labor representative through a ballot card election. Business leaders said that the card check provisions in AB 616 are similar to the provision in the Protecting the Right to Organize (PRO) Act, which would potentially eliminate secret ballot union elections in favor of card check elections.

The following statement is attributable to CDW Chair Kristen Swearingen:

“The fact that Governor Gavin Newson, the most liberal governor of the most liberal state in America, opposes card check union elections should show just how dangerous and misguided the PRO Act is.

“By eliminating secret ballot union elections in favor of card check, the PRO Act takes away workers’ right to privacy by forcing them to cast their ballots in union elections in the presence of other workers and union organizers, opening them up to harassment and intimidation.

“While businesses and workers across the country are slowly getting back on their feet after the economic damage caused by the COVID-19 pandemic, rewriting our nation’s labor laws in a way that even the governor of California thought was too extreme would cause irreparable harm to our country’s economic efforts and threatens to derail its recovery.

“We applaud Governor Newsom for standing up for California workers by rejecting anti-worker card check union elections and urge Congress to do the same by opposing the PRO Act.”

Click here for more information on the negative impacts of the PRO Act.

 

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About The Coalition for a Democratic Workplace

CDW is a broad-based coalition of hundreds of organizations representing hundreds of thousands of employers and millions of employees in various industries across the country concerned with a long-standing effort by some in the labor movement to make radical changes to the National Labor Relations Act without regard to the severely negative impact they would have on employees, employers, and the economy. CDW was originally formed in 2005 in opposition to the so-called Employee Free Choice Act (EFCA) – a bill similar to the PRO Act – that would have stripped employees of the right to secret ballots in union representation elections and allowed arbitrators to set contract terms regardless of the consequence to workers or businesses.

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BUSINESS LEADERS CONDEMN INCLUSION OF PRO-UNION LAWS IN BUDGET RECONCILIATION BILL

Say excessive fines and new policies would empower unions to bully employers and intimidate small business owners with help from the NLRB – now controlled by former union lawyers

Washington, D.C. – The Coalition for a Democratic Workplace (CDW), composed of more than 600 major business organizations, released the following statement in response to the draft budget reconciliation bill from the House Education and Labor Committee, which includes provisions from the Protecting the Right to Organize (PRO) Act, including excessive penalties, unnecessary restrictions negatively impacting opportunities for gig workers and limiting employer free speech, and $5 million aimed at replacing secret ballot in union representation elections with phone-based voting— which would expose employees to union intimidation.

The following statement is attributable to CDW Chair Kristen Swearingen:

“With their anti-worker PRO Act stalled, Big Labor lobbyists and their allies in Congress have jammed their radical policies into the budget reconciliation bill.

“Bottomline, these changes in the reconciliation bill have nothing to do with the budget and are intended to force unions on workers by taking away opportunities to work in the gig economy, limit employees from hearing facts about unions and how union spend or misspend employees dues, and intimidate small business owners to force them to yield to union demands. The inclusion of these measures will hurt small businesses and infringe on the rights of workers.

“While businesses and workers across the country are slowly getting back on their feet after the damage caused by the COVID-19 pandemic, rewriting our nation’s labor laws solely to benefit Big Labor bosses would cause irreparable harm to our country’s economic efforts and threatens to derail its recovery.

“We strongly urge Members of Congress to reject these provisions in the budget reconciliation bill, which is intended to fund government programs, not advance Big Labor’s radical agenda that will only hurt small businesses and workers.”

 

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About The Coalition for a Democratic Workplace

CDW is a broad-based coalition of hundreds of organizations representing hundreds of thousands of employers and millions of employees in various industries across the country concerned with a long-standing effort by some in the labor movement to make radical changes to the National Labor Relations Act without regard to the severely negative impact they would have on employees, employers, and the economy. CDW was originally formed in 2005 in opposition to the so-called Employee Free Choice Act (EFCA) – a bill similar to the PRO Act – that would have stripped employees of the right to secret ballots in union representation elections and allowed arbitrators to set contract terms regardless of the consequence to workers or businesses.

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