Historic collaboration between federal agencies to empower workers

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Following the celebration of Labor Day in the United States, the Small Business Administration (SBA) announced an important collaboration with the Department of Labor (DOL), the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) and the Federal Mediation and Conciliation Service ( FMCS) provide digital tools for employers who want guidance on how to respond to employees who want to exercise their right to form or join a union.

“Building strong teams and managing workforce issues are critical skills that small business owners must continually develop as they start and grow resilient businesses, and the SBA remains committed to supporting them with relevant content and training.The resources in this collaborative digital toolkit will help small businesses learn, assess and manage the growing worker-centric and market-based trends in employee organizing,” said Isabel Casillas Guzmán, administrator of the SBA.

The White House Task Force on Organizing and Empowering Workers offers advice to highlight the mutual benefits for employers and workers of collective bargaining and management partnerships on how to navigate the workplace issues, establish labor management partnerships, respect workers’ freedom to choose union representation and address small business concerns.

Created on April 26, 2021, the task force leads the coordination and mobilization of more than 20 federal organizations to implement policies, programs and practices that enable workers to organize and bargain successfully with their employers.

The SBA highlights the work of unions, seen as a powerful force in closing the pay gap for women and workers of color, with more than 16 million workers in the United States

“The SBA Toolkit is an invaluable resource for employers seeking information and advice on unions and the value of collective bargaining. Workers’ interest in forming unions is higher than we’ve seen in decades, and this resource will be an important tool to help employers respond positively to worker organizing campaigns,” noted the Secretary. Marty Walsh, who is vice chair of the White House task force. .

“Small businesses are an essential component of the American economy and they employ millions of workers. This toolkit provides key resources that small business owners can use to ensure their employees can freely and fairly exercise their labor rights and create effective labour-management partnerships that benefit workers, small businesses and communities,” said Jennifer Abruzzo, NLRB General Counsel. .

For his part, Gregory Goldstein, Acting Director of FMCS, underlined: “FMCS is delighted to collaborate with our other agencies on the toolkit. This is a fantastic opportunity to make workers and management aware that the FMCS is ready, willing and able to help create effective labour-management partnerships. FMCS has been effective throughout its 75 year history in preventing, managing and resolving workplace disputes related to collective bargaining. And all at no cost to the parties.

For more information on the White House Task Force on Organizing and Empowering Workers, click here.

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