Miss. Senator Says Measures Will Protect Workers’ Rights, Strengthen the Economy

 WASHINGTON, D.C. – U.S. Senator Cindy Hyde-Smith (R-Miss.) today announced her support for two pro-business bills, including an effort to restore workers’ rights by prohibiting employers from requiring employees to join a union as a condition of employment.  
Hyde-Smith is cosponsoring the National Right-to-Work Act (S.545) and the Employee Rights Act (S.1774), both of which would strengthen the ability of employees to control their participation in organized labor activities.
“These bills would protect workers’ rights and strengthen our economy,” Hyde-Smith said.  “Union membership should not be a condition for employment, and workers should have the freedom to exercise their right to determine how their hard-earned money is spent.”  
The National Right-to-Work Act would give workers a choice to refrain from paying dues, joining or assisting labor organizations by repealing National Labor Relations Act and Railway Labor Act provisions that currently force workers in many states to pay union dues as a requirement for being hired or terminated.  Mississippi is one of 27 states with right-to-work laws that protect workers from paying mandatory union dues.
The Employee Rights Act would require unions to get “opt in” approval from an employee before union dues can be used for purposes other than collective bargaining, ensuring that workers are not compelled to fund causes they do not support.  Additionally, it protects personal liberty by requiring secret ballots for votes on whether to unionize or to strike.  It would also give employees the right to opt out of having their personal information shared with a union during an organizing campaign.
Both S.545 and S.1774 have been referred to the Senate Committee on Health, Education, Labor and Pensions.