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Isabel Casillas Guzmán meeting with local business owners.
Isabel Casillas Guzmán meets with small business owners. Photo: @SBAIsabel.

Historic collaboration between federal agencies to empower workers

SBA, DOL, NLRB and FMCS introduce a new digital toolkit to promote partnerships between workers and government.

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After 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) to deliver digital tools to employers seeking guidance on how to respond to employees who are interested in exercising their right to form or join a union.

"Building strong teams and managing workforce issues are critical skillsets 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 trainings. The resources in this collaborative digital toolkit will help small businesses learn about, evaluate and manage the growing worker-driven and market-based trends in employee organizing,” stated Isabel Casillas Guzmán, SBA Administrator. 

Equitable Associations

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

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

SBA highlights the work of unions, seen as a powerful force in reducing the pay gap for women and workers of color, with more than 16 million workers in the U.S.

Reactions

“SBA’s toolkit is an invaluable resource for employers looking for information and guidance on unions and the value of collective bargaining. Worker interest in forming unions is higher than we’ve seen in decades, and this resource will be an important tool in helping employers respond positively to worker organizing campaigns,” noted Secretary Marty Walsh, who serves as vice chair of the White House Task Force.

“Small businesses are a crucial 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 the effective labor-management partnerships that benefit workers, small businesses, and communities alike,” said Jennifer Abruzzo, NLRB General Counsel.

For his part, Gregory Goldstein, FMCS Acting Director, highlighted: “FMCS is thrilled to collaborate with our fellow agencies on the toolkit. It is a fantastic opportunity to bring awareness to both labor and management that FMCS is ready, willing, and able to assist in creating effective labor-management partnerships. FMCS has been effective throughout our 75-year history in preventing, managing, and resolving workplace conflict related to collective bargaining. And all at no cost to the parties.”

For additional information on the White House Task Force on Worker Organizing and Empowerment, click here.

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