(WASHINGTON) – The Teamsters applaud today’s introduction of the Workplace Action for a Growing Economy (WAGE) Act by Sen. Patty Murray (D-WA) and Rep. Bobby Scott (D-VA). The WAGE Act is a positive step forward, addressing the shortcomings of the National Labor Relations Act (NLRA) in the areas of workers protections and penalties for employers that violate workers’ rights.
The legislation would amend the NLRA to further strengthen protections for both union and non-union workers by increasing remedies for workers and imposing new penalties for employers who act illegally. Implementation of the WAGE Act would go a long way toward fixing a broken system that favors employers, emboldening them to commit unfair labor practices with the full knowledge that even if they are caught, the penalties will be relatively minor.
“For too long employers have manipulated and abused the system under the NLRA,” said Teamsters General President James P. Hoffa. “The WAGE Act offers real reform to our current laws and provides worker protections through significant penalties that will discourage employers from acting illegally. It is long past time to bring our labor laws into the 21st century.”
Highlights of the proposed changes to the NLRA through the WAGE Act include:
- Tripling backpay for workers who are illegally fired or retaliated against;
- Establishing civil penalties up to $50,000 for employers who commit unfair labor practices;
- Providing for federal court injunctions to immediately return fired workers to their jobs;
- Establishing NLRB authority to impose penalties on officers & directors of employer violators;
- Establishing NLRB authority to issue a bargaining order when it finds an employer prevented a free and fair election.
Founded in 1903, the International Brotherhood of Teamsters represents 1.4 million hardworking men and women throughout the United States, Canada and Puerto Rico. Visit www.teamster.org for more information. Follow us on Twitter @Teamsters and “like” us on Facebook at www.facebook.com/teamsters.