Reps. Andy Levin (D-Mich.) and Brian Fitzpatrick (R-Penn.) sent a letter on Monday signed by 168 Members of Congress calling for funding to enable the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) to hold union elections electronically in the next coronavirus stimulus bill.
“Workers’ rights to organize and bargain collectively with their employer are always important, but especially so when subjects like adequate health care benefits, access to protective equipment, and pandemic safety protocols, are - quite literally - matters of life and death,” the Members of Congress wrote.
Four weeks ago, the NLRB took the extraordinary action of halting all union representation elections in response to COVID-19. Rather than using mail-in ballots or a more modern approach like telephone or internet voting, the NLRB chose to suspend the rights of workers everywhere.
"During the COVID-19 crisis, many working people are facing dangerous and uncertain conditions on the job,” said the Communications Workers of America’s Director of Government Affairs Dan Mauer. “It is more critical now than ever that workers have a safe method to exercise their right to form a union during this time — and that means the NLRB must begin allowing electronic representation elections. CWA is thankful to Reps. Levin and Fitzpatrick for standing up for workers' rights at a time when workers' voices need to be heard to keep our communities safe."
“Now more than ever, workers must have a voice,” said Andrew Pantazi, a NewsGuild-CWA member and reporter at the Florida Times-Union. “At my company, Gannett has used the coronavirus as an excuse to cancel three union elections, all while the company forces furloughs and fails to provide necessary protective equipment for journalists. Workers want safety for themselves and for their communities. Workers' concerns must shape how companies recover from this devastating pandemic. The way to ensure that happens is by giving the NLRB the funding and requirement that it move forward with electronic balloting as soon as possible.”