Unionization would be a legally protected civil right, under legislation introduced by Rep. Keith Ellison.
The Minnesota Democrat's proposal would make it easier for workers to take legal action against companies that violate their right to organize.
MSNBC.com recently explained the details:
It is already illegal to fire workers in retaliation for union activities, but enforcing workers' right to organize can be a tricky process under current law. Currently, wrongfully terminated employees must file an unfair labor practice claim with the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB), which will then determine whether to represent the worker in a legal fight against the employer.
But workers are not able to directly sue their employers for anti-union retaliation, and the process of bringing forward a successful unfair labor practice claim can take years.
Ellison's legislation would maintain the unfair labor practice system, but also allow workers to individually sue their employers over allegations of illegal retaliation.
Little Chance of Passage
Ellison's union bill faces extremely long odds of passing. In a Republican-controlled House, lawmakers are unlikely to push through anything friendly to unions.
Even when Democrats controlled Congress, during the first four years of Ellison's Hill tenure, party leaders shied away from muscling through union-friendly legislation, like "card check".
But the proposal is more of an ideological statement by Ellison, one on the most liberal members in Congress.