Anti-union policy group the Center for Union Facts has retained Capitol Hill lobbying and public affairs shop CGCN Group to advocate on behalf of a labor bill currently making its way through Congress that aims to protect workers from union overreach through a series of pro-employee reforms.
Sen. Orrin Hatch’s (R-UT) “Employee Rights Act,” or S.1774, promises some of the most comprehensive reforms to U.S. labor laws since the 1940s. Among the bill’s key provisions, the ERA would implement secret paper ballot elections where employees are periodically allowed to vote on whether to retain union representation.
The bill also forbids unions from using dues for political purposes without receiving written permission from members, and mandates that the union’s representation should also be voted on in cases where a workplace is upended by a merger, expansion or high turnover, in order to determine if that labor union still receives majority employee support.
Earlier versions of the ERA failed to leave the 112th, 113th and 114th Congresses. Hatch re-introduced S.1774 into Congress in September. It currently has 22 co-sponsors, including Sens. Lamar Alexander (R-TN), Marco Rubio (R-FL) and Ted Cruz (R-TX).
An identical bill, H.R. 2723, was re-introduced in the House this May by Rep. Phil Roe (R-TN).
Washington-based Center for Union Facts, which was founded in 2006, bills itself as a union watchdog devoted to exposing “the truth about labor unions and the pain they impose upon free enterprise.” The nonprofit has been a longtime proponent of right-to-work legislation, which prohibits union representation as a condition for employment.
CUF is one of many front groups founded by lobbyist Richard Berman, a former U.S. Chamber of Commerce labor lawyer who runs Washington, D.C.-based public affairs shop Berman & Co. Berman’s other noted advocacy outfits include nonprofit food coalition the Center for Consumer Freedom and restaurant trade association the American Beverage Institute.
CGCN, formerly known as Clark Geduldig Cranford & Nielsen, is the right-leaning public affairs firm founded by former National Republican Congressional Committee communications director Steve Clark.