The rollback of union rights in favor of big business continues. Last week, the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) handed down a ruling that allows companies to bar non-employee union representatives access to public spaces on their property, overturning nearly four decades of precedent.
The case was based on a 2013 incident where two organizers were ejected from a Pennsylvania hospital while meeting with members of its staff in its cafeteria. Previously, union organizers not working at a particularly jobsite could not be banned from worker cafeterias and restaurants open to the public under the “public space exemption.”
It is the latest anti-union strike levied against workers. Former Obama administration rules that sought to raise the salary threshold for workers eligible for overtime and made it harder for companies to employ outside anti-union consultants have been undone in recent years, hurting workers and their families.
Why is union membership better for workers? Because union jobs pay more! The median union worker makes $10,000 more a year than the median non-union one. They are also more likely to have health care and retirement benefits.
That’s why it’s important that elected officials take steps to codify collective bargaining rights. Back in March, the House Education and Labor Workforce Protection Subcommittee held a hearing that sought to shine a light on the need for labor law reform.
Subcommittee Chairwoman Frederica Wilson (D-Fla.) said history shows working Americans have gained when unions are powerful. “America’s unions are engines of economic mobility,” she said. “For generations they have fueled our nation’s prosperity, protected the health and safety of American workers, and supported a strong middle class.”
Those who work all their lives and play by the rules deserve respect and dignity from employers. Too often, however, that isn’t happening. People need to get motivated and let their lawmakers know it is time they stand up for rank-and-file workers instead of their corporate cronies.
All workers can ensure a better future for themselves by organizing on the job and then supporting candidates at the ballot box that protect their rights to collectively bargain. It’s never too soon to create a better tomorrow for the working class!