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Rubio, Banks Introduce Pro-Worker Labor Reform Bill
Washington, D.C. — U.S. Senator Marco Rubio (R-FL) and U.S. Representative Jim Banks (R-IN) introduced the Teamwork for Employees and Managers (TEAM) Act of 2022, which would provide workers seeking to organize with an alternative to unionization that allows both workers and managers to work together, without fearing heavy-handed legal action or bureaucratic meddling from the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB). The bill earned praise from conservative labor experts. A one-pager is available here and a section-by-section is available here.
“The vast majority of working Americans go to work every day to earn a living and provide for their families, not because they want to participate in the latest ‘woke’ workplace trend,” Rubio said. “In reality, many American workers are sick and tired of being subjected to radical company policies and would gladly trade in their ‘diversity workshop’ for a discussion on benefits or flexibility.”
“Unfortunately, current law makes it impossible for employers to have any meaningful discussion about workplace conditions with a non-unionized group of employees,” Rubio continued. “Our bill solves this problem by creating a pro-worker alternative to unions, which are notoriously left-wing and almost always pit workers against management, only worsening the workplace environment.”
“The TEAM Act would breathe fresh air into the American labor movement, which has left behind hard working Americans for far too long,” Rubio concluded. “I hope that my colleagues in Congress will do right by American workers by passing this bill, rather than doubling down on a broken system.”
“Today’s labor unions have put workers in an impossible situation. Many want a voice, but few support the left’s woke agenda,” Banks said. “Senator Rubio and I introduced the TEAM Act of 2022 to give workers a say in workplace matters without forcing them into union membership.”
The Rubio-Banks TEAM Act is modeled off the Teamwork for Employers and Management Act, which then-President Bill Clinton vetoed in 1996. The new proposal earned widespread praise from conservative labor experts.
“Most workers need a greater voice in the workplace, especially at some of our nation’s largest businesses. And most employers recognize the benefits—to morale, productivity, and more—that come from genuine dialogue with workers. The TEAM Act makes clear how workers and employers can amplify worker voice without treading on the option to pursue adversarial bargaining. This is a true win-win.” — Jonathan Berry, former Acting Assistant Secretary for Policy, U.S. Department of Labor
“Ensuring that thoughtful employee voice is present at all levels of an employer’s organization is extremely important, especially given the recruitment and retention challenges presently faced by all employers in the country. The TEAM Act legislation introduced by Senator Rubio and Congressman Banks provides an important ‘reset’ of the conversation about the importance of employee voice in the workplace and would remove certain archaic restrictions in the NLRA that prohibit employee voice from being fully heard. This proposal provides the basis for employees and employers to make positive improvements in the workplace and is a refreshing change from the negative proposals such as the PRO Act that unfortunately have been the focus of certain members of Congress.” — G. Roger King, Senior Labor and Employment Counsel, H.R. Policy Association
“American workers want and deserve genuine voice and representation in the workplace, and greater choice in how to exercise it. Employers, too, are eager to build collaborative relationships with their workforce that can benefit all involved. Unfortunately, America’s outdated labor laws are too often an obstacle to workers’ interests, serving only the special interests determined to preserve a broken status quo. Serious labor reform should be a conservative priority and Senator Rubio and Congressman Banks have taken an important step forward with this innovative legislation.” — Oren Cass, Executive Director, American Compass
The Teamwork for Employees and Managers (TEAM) Act:
- Provides new authority for employees and employers to establish voluntary Employee Involvement Organizations (EIOs) to discuss workplace issues;
- Clarifies that an EIO may be established and dissolved by mutual consent between employers and employees, is not authorized to engage in or negotiate collective bargaining agreements with employers, and does not preclude employees from forming a labor union;
- Ensures that violations of EIO-related provisions shall be adjudicated in the U.S. court system, and not by the National Labor Relations Board; and
- Provides EIO members at companies with more than $1 billion in yearly gross revenues with the opportunity to elect a representative to serve as a nonvoting member on the company’s board of directors.