"US Capitol Dome on an Overcast Evening" by John Brighenti licensed under CC BY 2.0

Representative Burgess Owens (R-Utah) has taken a bold step to safeguard the integrity of the American workplace by introducing the Start Applying Labor Transparency (SALT) Act. 

This legislation would prohibit a common labor organizing tactic known as “salting”, which strategically places union operatives within a non-unionized workforce. By infiltrating the ranks of unsuspecting companies, these individuals can covertly organize employees from the inside, all while collecting a paycheck from both their “employer” and their real union bosses.  

Americans for Tax Reform urges lawmakers to pass the SALT Act, which will protect both workers and businesses from insidious union subversion.  

For decades, this method of guerilla organizing has been a preferred tactic for labor leaders. As Rep. Owens explains, it is not unusual for a union operative, “without the knowledge of their colleagues and employer, [to receive] compensation from a union while advocating for its interests in the workplace.” However, this dual allegiance has been bluntly condemned as a “deception” of employees and employers alike. Furthermore, Rep. Owens has expressed concern about growing workplace tension, arguing that this union infiltration “not only breeds suspicion but also erodes the very foundation of trust and transparency.” 

Under the SALT Act, these undercover organizers would be required to reveal their true agenda to the public. By expanding the Labor-Management Reporting and Disclosure Act of 1959, this legislation would mandate the disclosure of covert union organizing campaigns, including an annual report detailing “payments, loans, agreements, or arrangements made to influence employees’ organizational and bargaining rights.” Without the element of anonymity, “salting” campaigns will be less able to exploit workplace trust to achieve the aims of labor unions.  

The SALT Act has been met with support from both business leaders and worker interest groups, highlighting a broad coalition against union workplace subversion. According to Vincent Vernuccio, President of the Institute for the American Worker (I4AW), “unions should make the case for representation in plain sight and let the workers decide.” The U.S. Chamber of Commerce has emphatically agreed, insisting that the SALT Act would address a “considerable imbalance” between labor unions and employers, ensuring that employers “know who they are hiring, and allow employees to know if those urging them to join a union are actually working for that union.”  

However, most importantly, the principles behind the SALT Act have enjoyed overwhelming support from the American public. According to a 2023 I4AW study, 75% of Americans support disclosure from undercover union organizers. In an age of hyper partisanship, this overwhelming enthusiasm for the message of the SALT Act should not be lost on lawmakers. From the assembly line to the corporate boardroom, Americans are tired of being deceived by union double-agents. By restoring transparency to union organizing standards, labor leaders can begin to rebuild the trust that they have shattered within the American workplace.

Americans for Tax Reform urges lawmakers to pass the SALT Act, which will protect American workers from unfair manipulation by union organizers.