Proposed Law in Georgia Could Make Union Joining Harder for Certain Workers

Photo by Yaroslav Muzychenko on Unsplash

Atlanta, Georgia is considering legislation that may hinder workers, especially those in electric vehicle manufacturers and other companies, from joining labor unions, potentially violating federal law, as reported by ABC News on February 9, 2024.


The state Senate has predominantly approved  Georgia Senate Bill 362, preventing companies that receive state incentives from recognizing unions without a formal secret ballot election. The Bill is now moving to the House for further debate.


This measure would prevent unions from gaining recognition from a company voluntarily, even after securing the support of a majority of workers through a process commonly known as a card check.


Critics argue that this proposed legislation contradicts the National Labor Relations Act, which governs union organizing, as it impedes a part of federal law allowing companies to voluntarily acknowledge unions that demonstrate support from a majority of employees.


Additional Information:


  • Modeled after a law passed in Tennessee in 2023, this bill may inspire similar legislation in other states. 
  • Indiana, like Tennessee, has also passed a state law. 
  • Currently, only 4.4% of Georgia workers are union members, marking the eighth-lowest rate among US states. 
  • Alabama and South Carolina, among five states, passed state constitutional amendments in 2010 or 2012 guaranteeing access to secret union ballots. 
  • Notably, the National Labor Relations Board challenged an Arizona amendment in court in 2012, but a federal judge declined to overturn it, citing it was too early to determine if the state amendment conflicted with federal law.
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