Speeches And Statements
February 14, 2001



The WAGE Act

Wednesday, February 14, 2001

  • Mr. PAUL. Mr. Speaker, I rise to introduce the Workers Access to Accountable Governance in Employment (WAGE) Act. This bill takes a first step toward restoring the rights of freedom of association and equal protection under the law to millions of American workers who are currently denied these rights by federal law.

  • The WAGE Act simply gives workers the same rights to hold decertification elections as they have to hold certification elections. Currently, while workers in this country are given the right to organize and have union certification elections each year, provided that 30 percent or more of the workforce wish to have them, workers are not given an equal right to have a decertification election, even if the same requirements are met.

  • As a result of the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) created contract-bar rule, if 30 percent or more of a bargaining unit wants to hold an election to decertify a union as their representative, they are prohibited from doing so unless the contract is in at least its third year.

  • In other words, it does not matter whether or not workers want to continue to have the union as their representative. It does not matter whether or not the union represents the will of the workers. It does not even matter if the majority of the current workforce voted for union representation. They must accept that representation.

  • Mr. Speaker, this is absurd. The lowest criminal in this country has the right to change
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    their representative in the courtroom. Yet millions of hardworking, law-abiding citizens cannot change their representation in the workplace.

  • As a result of the passage of the National Labor Relations Act (NLRA) in 1935 and the action taken by the federally-funded NLRB, workers can be forced to pay union dues or fees for unwanted representation as a condition of employment. Federal law may even force workers to accept union representation against the will of the majority of workers.

  • Talk about taxation without representation! Mr. Speaker, the WAGE Act takes a step toward returning a freedom to workers that they never should have lost in the first place: the right to choose their own representative. I urge my colleagues to support the nonpartisan, pro-worker WAGE Act.