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On Friday, February 4, 2022, the House of Representative passed HR 4521, the America COMPETES Act by a vote of 222-210. The bill is aimed at improving the United States’ ability to compete with China. It is a wide-sweeping bill that includes several provisions that GCCA supports such as the Ocean Shipping Reform Act. GCCA also worked with coalition partners to support Representative Angie Craig’s (D-MN) amendment, which directs the newly created position of the Assistant Secretary for Supply Chain Resilience and Crisis Response to consult with the Secretary of Agriculture and evaluate the stability of the Agriculture and Food System supply chain, and to provide a report to Congress on vulnerabilities in this supply chain and ways to address those vulnerabilities.
Unfortunately, there are also some provisions in the bill that are of great concern to GCCA. For example, the bill contains provisions related to “card check” and mandatory arbitration of collective bargaining agreements. The card check provision would increase the instances under which the government could impose union representation despite employees voting against such representation in a secret ballot election. Card checks should not be a substitute for a secret ballot election. This proposed process would be a public one, that is inherently susceptible to coercion, since union organizers can present employees with cards to sign in front of coworkers. Organizers are then free to share with employees who has or has not signed cards, which exposes workers to intimidation and possibly harassment. While there are some positive provisions in the bill, it is critical that the card check and arbitration provisions be removed prior to finalization of the legislation.
The bill now moves to the Senate for consideration, and we encourage GCCA members to contact their Senators and let them know you oppose the card check and mandatory arbitration of collective bargaining agreements provisions!
Take action and contact your Senators HERE.
Read our letter of support on Representative Angie Craig’s (D-MN) amendment HERE.