Resolutions opposing bills before Congress dealing with grazing fees and striker replacements have been adopted by the board of governors of the Salt Lake Area Chamber of Commerce.
Don Leonard, co-chairman of the chamber's Congressional Relations Committee, presented the resolutions that have been adopted by the committee.One resolution opposes so-called striker replacement legislation that chamber members believe will "upset the economic balance in labor relations that have been part of this country's legal framework for the last 53 years and given us a collective bargaining system that works."
Under current law, the resolution says, a key employee bargaining tool is the right to strike, while an employer's tool is the ability to hire replacement employees.
If the strike relates to an unfair labor practice by the employer, current law protects striking employees by giving the National Labor Relations Board the authority to order their reinstatement even is "permanent" replacements have been hired. If the strike is over economic terms and isn't caused or prolonged by employer wrongdoing, the MacKay doctrine provides that the employer doesn't have to fire replacement workers, Leonard said.
The proposed legislation eliminates "this important distinction in the law by prohibiting the use of MacKay-type replacement regardless of whether the dispute is over an unfair labor practice or a pay raise," the resolution said.
Leonard said if the law passes it would result in more strikes and an increased risk of anti-competitive collective bargaining agreements.
The resolution on grazing notes that two congressmen have introduced legislation that could increase public-land grazing fees 500 percent and might eliminate grazing on public lands in the state.
Instead of the proposed legislation, the resolution wants the Public Rangelands Improvement Act of 1979 to be made permanent. The formula in the act increases fees when livestock prices go up and vice versa.