Clinton Vetoes Team Bill

July 31, 1996

Clinton Vetoes Team Bill

President Clinton Tuesday evening vetoed the Team Act, which would repeal current law prohibiting companies from creating "employer-dominated" labor committees.

Organized labor strongly opposed the legislation, which passed the Senate 53-46 earlier this month and was approved by the House last September on a 221-202 vote. Neither margin approaches the two-thirds needed in each house to override a veto. "This legislation, rather than promoting genuine teamwork, would undermine the system of collective bargaining that has served this country so well for many decades," Clinton said in his notice to Congress, as reported by the Associated Press.

Many federal agencies have already set up labor-management "partnership councils" and other teamwork arrangements.

Clinton said the bill would allow employers to form "company unions" where no union exists and permit "company-dominated unions" where employees are in the process of deciding whether to be represented by a labor group. "Rather than encouraging true workplace cooperation, this bill would abolish protections that ensure independent and democratic representation in the workplace," Clinton said.

However, Senate Labor and Human Resources Chairwoman Kassebaum argued the measure makes it easier for employers and employees to cooperate in non-union settings, saying: "It only represents common sense. It's not in any way designed to be a destroyer of unions."

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