Government affairs

Legislative Updates

Tribal Labor Sovereignty Act reintroduced

On Jan. 9, Sen. Jerry Moran (R-KS) reintroduced the Tribal Labor Sovereignty Act (S. 63), a bill designed to prevent the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) from regulating many American Indian gaming casinos, a move that would strip the collective-bargaining rights of more than 628,000 tribal casino workers.

The bill calls for overturning a decision by the NLRB (San Manuel Indian Bingo and Casino, 341 NLRB No. 138 92004), which applied the National Labor Relations Act to a tribal casino enterprise. Moran’s measure is nearly identical to H.R. 511 introduced last year by Rep. Todd Rokita (R-IN) that passed the House. President Obama had threatened to veto the legislation.

“We do not support [taking away] protections from American workers, Native and non-Native alike, who work in commercial enterprises owned by tribes,” Majority Whip Steny Hoyer (D-MD) said on the House floor. “All of our people deserve the chance to earn a decent living, be safe at work, and reach for a better life.”

While the Obama administration has stated that it’s firmly dedicated to protecting Americans workers and federal labor laws, it’s unclear where the incoming Trump administration will stand on this issue.

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