From the desk of US Senator Tammy Baldwin
You and I know Wisconsin has a proud tradition of respecting hard work and rewarding it by giving workers a strong voice.
But in recent years, hardworking Wisconsinites have been facing more and more barriers when organizing to bargain for better wages, benefits and safer working conditions.
It’s time to once again move Wisconsin’s proud, progressive tradition of supporting workers forward and give every working family a fair shot at getting ahead.
Sixty years ago, nearly a third of all workers belonged to a union. Today, that number has gone down to 10.7 percent – and if an employee engages in union organizing campaigns, they have a one in five chance of getting fired.
We must give workers a strong voice once again and support the rights of workers to join together and bargain for better wages, benefits, and safer working conditions. So I’ve joined Senator Bernie Sanders and Congressman Mark Pocan in introducing the Workplace Democracy Act, which will make it easier for workers to join unions in a number of ways.
It would end right to work for less laws by repealing Section 14(b) of the Taft Hartley Act, which has allowed 28 states, including Wisconsin, to pass legislation eliminating the ability of private sector unions to collect fair share fees from those who benefit from union contracts and activities. With our legislation, when a majority of workers in a bargaining unit sign valid authorization cards to join a union, they must have a union.
Additionally, companies would not be allowed to deny or delay a first contract with workers who have voted to join a union. Unions would be given the right to have their voice heard through secondary boycotts and picketing. And workers would have the right to know when their company spends millions of dollars running anti-union campaigns. Our bill would also stop employers from ruthlessly exploiting workers by misclassifying them as independent contractors or denying them overtime by falsely categorizing them as a “supervisor.”
I am proud to have helped introduced the Workplace Democracy Act, and will continue taking action to move Wisconsin’s tradition of supporting workers forward and ensure every working family has a fair shot at getting ahead.
U.S. Senator for Wisconsin