Senate coronavirus stimulus calls for union neutrality pledge from many companies getting loans

Senate coronavirus stimulus calls for union neutrality pledge from many companies getting loans

This is … startling, and potentially a big deal. Many companies asking for loans under the Senate’s coronavirus stimulus package would have to pledge neutrality if their workers wanted to organize a union, Bloomberg Law’s Jaclyn Diaz reports.

A provision requiring companies to “make a good-faith certification that the recipient will remain neutral in any union organizing effort for the term of the loan” would apply to businesses employing between 500 and 10,000 workers.

That’s not the only worker-friendly provision in the bill, which requires companies to keep 90% of their workforce through September and prohibits them from offshoring jobs not only during the term of the loan but for two years after.

The neutrality provision “can have an impact on a fair number of organizing campaigns,” former National Labor Relations Board chair Wilma Liebman told Diaz.

There are a lot of questions: What will enforcement look like? What does “neutral” mean for these purposes? (It could mean anything from banning certain kinds of anti-union campaign to, at the dream-come-true end, allowing workers to unionize through majority sign-up rather than requiring a two-step process with workers signing union cards and then also having to participate in an election.) And who got this provision into the bill? And did Senate Republicans not even notice?

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