• Michigan Governor Rick Snyder enacted legislation (S.B. 1085, P.A. 238) allowing companies that sign project labor agreements (“PLAs”) to be awarded contracts and prohibiting contractors from being required to sign PLAs for publicly funded projects. Previous legislation, P.A. 98, banned PLAs on public jobs but was deemed unconstitutional and a violation of the NLRA by a federal judge.
  • NMB member Elizabeth Dougherty resigned in June after five years on the panel. Dougherty was the only Republican of the three NMB members. Pursuant to the RLA, she must be replaced by a Republican. President Obama has not nominated a replacement, but two NMB members constitute a quorum, which leaves the NMB unaffected.
  • AFL-CIO has set forth a political campaign strategy centered on its “American Second Bill of Rights” (“ASBR”) derived from the workers’ bill of rights in President Roosevelt’s inaugural address, including the right to be fully employed, right to a living wage, right to full participation on the electoral process, right to quality education, a right to be heard at work, and right to a secure future, among other things. AFL-CIO aims to have the ASBR adopted as platforms by the Democratic and Republican parties. It also aims to increase campaign efforts and educate workers about important issues affecting them.
  • Republican lawmakers, in response to NLRB decisions that they assert negatively affect workers, proposed three new federal laws: the RAISE Act, the Secret Ballot Protection Act, and the Tribal Labor Sovereignty Act. The RAISE Act, introduced by Rep. Todd Rokita, R-Ind., would modify the NLRA to allow employers to dole out merit-based pay increases to individual employees above those levels set by union contracts. The law currently prohibits employers with unionized workforces from working directly with individual employees to negotiate pay or other employment contract elements that are normally the subject of union collective bargaining. The Secret Ballot Protection Act, introduced by Rep. Phil Roe, R-Tenn., seeks to undo a 2011 NLRB decision which overturned a Bush-era precedent that allowed employees to immediately request a secret ballot election after an employer voluntarily recognizes a union that a majority of employees have signed cards agreeing to join. Finally, the Tribal Labor Sovereignty Act, introduced by Kristi Noem, R-S.D., takes aim at an NLRB decision that found the NLRA applied to Indian tribal government employees working at a casino. The law would remove NLRB coverage and reassert the authority of tribal leaders over tribal affairs.