Press Releases

Bill strengthens workers’ rights to act collectively for better pay and conditions, join unions, and bargain collectively with their employers

 

WASHINGTON, D.C. – U.S. Senator Tom Carper (D-Del.), a senior member of the Senate Finance Committee, joined his Democratic colleagues in the House and Senate to introduce the Workers’ Freedom to Negotiate Act, which is a piece of “A Better Deal” economic agenda. The bill would, among other things, strengthen workers’ rights to act collectively for better pay and conditions, join unions and bargain collectively with their employers. The Better Deal legislation comes as the Trump administration and Congressional Republicans continue their efforts to maximize corporate profits through their tax giveaway to the richest few and largest corporations and the rollback of crucial labor rights designed to protect the American worker.

“Our country has been built by hard-working men and women who are still the backbone of our economy. Unfortunately, today, too many American workers are struggling to make ends meet, all while the Trump Administration works to ensure that wealthy shareholders and executives can take an even bigger cut of corporate profits,” said Senator Carper. “I’m proud to join my Democratic colleagues in the Senate and the House to introduce legislation that protects Americans on the job and strengthens workers’ rights. By empowering American workers and fighting for a truly level playing field, we can help ensure that everyone has a fair shot at the American Dream.”

Giving workers the freedom to negotiate A Better Deal would:

  • Strengthen penalties on predatory corporations that violate workers’ rights, and combat misclassification of workers as supervisors and independent contractors.
  • Strengthen workers’ right to strike for basic workplace improvements, including higher wages and better working conditions.
  • Create a mandatory mediation and arbitration process to ensure corporations and newly formed unions reach a first contract.
  • Ban state laws that undermine worker freedoms to join together and negotiate.  
  • Streamline the National Labor Relation Board’s (NLRB) procedures to secure worker freedoms and effectively prevent violations.
  • Protect the integrity of union elections against coercive captive audience meetings.  
  • Use federal purchasing power and policy to help expand opportunities to negotiate. 

 

See a fact sheet on the legislation here.  See the text of the legislation here.

Co-sponsors of the Workers’ Freedom to Negotiate Act in the Senate are: Chuck Schumer (D-NY), Patty Murray (D-WA), Kirsten Gillibrand (D-NY), Elizabeth Warren (D-MA), Chris Van Hollen (D-MD), Sheldon Whitehouse (D-RI), Gary Peters (D-MI), Dick Durbin (D-IL), Jeff Merkley (D-OR), Bob Casey (D-PA), Jack Reed (D-RI), Ed Markey (D-MA), Tammy Baldwin (D-WI), Mazie Hirono (D-HI), Debbie Stabenow (D-MI), Kamala Harris (D-CA), Richard Blumenthal (D-CT), Cory Booker (D-NJ), Catherine Cortez Masto (D-NV), Dianne Feinstein (D-CA), Martin Heinrich (D-NM), Tina Smith (D-MN), Tom Udall (D-NM), Sherrod Brown (D-OH), Tammy Duckworth (D-IL), Patrick Leahy (D-VT), and Bob Menendez (D-NJ), Ron Wyden (D-OR), and Chris Coons (D-DE).  

Co-sponsors of the Workers’ Freedom to Negotiate Act in the House are: Reps. Bonamici (OR-1), Boyle (PA-13), Brady (PA-1), Cicilline (RI-1), Chu (CA-27), Cummings (MD-7), Davis (IL-7), DeLauro (CT-3), DeSaulnier (CA-11), Doyle (PA-14), Ellison (MN-5), Espaillat (NY-13), Garamendi (CA-3), Hanabusa (HI-1), Khanna (CA-17), Lowenthal (CA-47), Nadler (NY-10), Napolitano (CA-32), Norcross (NJ-1), Norton (DC), Pallone (NJ-6), Pocan (WI-6), Roybal-Allard (CA-40), Sablan (Mariana Islands), Sanchez (CA-38), Schakowsky (IL-9), Shea-Porter (NH-1), Takano (CA-41), Watson Coleman (NJ-12), and Wilson (FL-24).