More than 100 tribes, tribal organizations and tribal businesses have signed a letter asking the Senate to take action on the Tribal Labor Sovereignty Act. The bill (H.R.511 | S.248) would exempt tribes and their business enterprises from the National Labor Relations Act and the jurisdiction of the National Labor Relations Board. Federal, state and local governments already have these exemptions, and tribal leaders argue that Native American nations are entitled to the same status.
"By amending the NLRA to expressly treat tribal government employers and their enterprises and institutions the same as it treats state, local and federal government employers, H.R. 511 would provide corrective guidance to the NLRB and bring parity to tribal government employers across the nation," the Coalition for Tribal Sovereignty wrote. The Republican-controlled House of Representatives passed H.R.511 by a large margin last November but the bill faces opposition from the White House, labor unions and Democratic lawmakers - only 24 Democrats voted for the Act during a previous vote in November 2015.