Fiscal Alliance Foundation Submits Ballot Question Complaint

Union Boss Ballot Question Should be Disqualified; Breaks Federal Labor Law and Includes Unrelated Policy Proposals    

Late yesterday, the Fiscal Alliance Foundation filed a complaint with the Supreme Judicial Court (SJC) outlining the reasons why ballot question 23 (Initiative Petition for an Act Giving Transportation Network Drivers the Option to Form a Union and Bargain Collectively), should not be on the 2024 ballot. Mintz represents the Fiscal Alliance Foundation and Kevin McGinty is the lead attorney. The complaint makes several arguments as to why the union boss ballot question should not move forward any further, including violations of the “related subjects” requirement (which prohibits multiple unrelated policy proposals from appearing in the same ballot question).

The union boss pushed ballot question includes various policies, including allowing Transportation Network Drivers (TND) to form a union, but at the same time raising prices for riders and making the Commonwealth of Massachusetts the final authority to set wages, benefits, and working conditions for those workers. While a voter may favor allowing for certain unions to be formed, that voter may also object to the Commonwealth setting the rates and not the private company or union entity. The union boss ballot question also disregards the National Labor Relations Board requirement that at least thirty percent of workers must sign a petition stating that the workers want to establish a union before the board holds an election on forming said union. This union boss ballot question disregards federal labor law by allowing Drivers to initiate the unionization process with as little as two and half percent support. This would also violate state labor law and possibly the lowest threshold in the entire country.

To download a copy of the complaint, please click here.

 “The Fiscal Alliance Foundation strongly feels this is an unconstitutional ballot question that, if allowed onto the ballot, would undoubtedly lead to voter confusion. If allowed to move forward in its current form, this question would eliminate the ability for many independent contractors to be their own boss, raise prices for riders, and would likely result in a lengthy legal battle for years to come due to the proposal’s poorly worded provision that preempts federal and state labor law,” stated Paul Diego Craney, spokesperson for the Fiscal Alliance Foundation.

“If the goal is to make Massachusetts more expensive and send a message to businesses looking to invest in Massachusetts that they are not welcome here, this ballot question achieves this goal. As we have seen with the income surtax, union boss-backed ballot questions further chip away at Massachusetts’s economic competitiveness and make living here more expensive. At a time when our state faces an uncertain economic future, making Massachusetts even more hostile to economic competitiveness is the last thing the state needs right now. People need more flexibility in how they do work, not less. This potential ballot question would make life a lot harder for riders and drivers alike,” concluded Craney.

The Fiscal Alliance Foundation has a successful history of opposing ballot questions and successfully eliminated ballot questions 22-01 (limiting Super PACs), 23-04, 23-07, 23-08 (three Ranked Choice Voting ballot questions), and opposed 23-42 (rent control) which ultimately failed.