As we near the one-year anniversary of the Supreme Court’s decision in Janus v. AFSCME, U.S. Congressman Donald Norcross (NJ-01), a member of the House Committee on Education and Labor and New Jersey State AFL-CIO Labor Candidate, is leading the charge on legislation that would guarantee public-service workers in every state have the right to stand together and negotiate for fair wages and working conditions.
Congressman Norcross introduced the legislation, known as the Public Service Freedom to Negotiate Act, on Wednesday, July 26, alongside Committee Chair Robert Scott (VA-03) and Representatives Frederica Wilson (FL-24), Matt Cartwright (PA-08) and Abby Finkenauer (IA-01).
“Workers win when they join together and advocate to raise wages and improve their benefits, like health care and retirement,” said Rep. Norcross, a member of the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers (IBEW) and a lifelong labor leader. “I know how important it is for workers to have a voice in the workplace because I lived it. I sat at the negotiating table fighting for working families for decades and I’m proud to introduce this legislation to ensure public-sector workers can exercise their rights at the bargaining table.”
The Public Service Freedom to Negotiate Act, H.R. 3463, guarantees public-sector employees across the country the legal right to organize and collectively bargain. The legislation also requires public employers to recognize their employees’ union and to commit to any agreements in a written contract.
Under the bill, the federal government has the authority to intervene on behalf of public-service workers should states fail to meet these standards.
“Time and time again, Congressman Norcross has proven that he is committed to improving the lives of America’s working families,” said New Jersey State AFL-CIO President Charles Wowkanech. “Because of the strength and solidarity of devoted leaders such as Congressman Norcross, the labor community has been able to curtail the impact of last year’s Janus decision, which could have dealt a severe blow to workers across the nation. On behalf of our one-million members, the New Jersey State AFL-CIO commends Congressman Norcross for taking action on this important bill and for his continued efforts to protect collective bargaining rights and strengthen the voice of organized labor.”