A leading union hails the new labor sanctions in the Democrats’ social spending legislation as the biggest reform in favor of workers in nearly a century, while a powerful business group says the provision has no place in the draft bill. reconciliation.
The contrasting positions between the AFL-CIO and the US Chamber of Commerce highlight a dispute over financial penalties for labor violations, as the Build Back Better Act awaits approval in the Chamber and likely more changes in the Senate.
the proposal of House Democrats includes segments of the Protection of the Right to Organize Act (PRO) that focuses on civil monetary penalties for employers who have committed unfair labor practices. The bill would impose fines of up to $ 700,000 for repeated security violations and lesser penalties for initial offenses.
It will also increase funding for the National Labor Relations Board, the Wage and Hour Division of the Department of Labor, and the Occupational Safety and Health Agency to identify violators and hear cases.
Sean Redmond, vice president for employment policy at the Chamber of Commerce, noted that the bill includes civil penalties that were not in the National Labor Relations Act since it was passed in 1935.
“Adding new sanctions would be a major substantial change to the NLRA that is not budget related and therefore has no place in a reconciliation bill,” he said.
Democrats plan to pass the spending package through the budget reconciliation process, which allows them to pass laws with 50 votes and thus avoid Republican obstructionism in the Senate.
However, using reconciliation also means that the provisions must have a budgetary impact, and the Senate MP has already rejected immigration reform proposals that do not meet that test.
Democrats must first pass the bill in the House, which leaders hope to do before Thanksgiving. The legislation is expected to undergo major changes once it reaches the Senate.
Rep. Bobby scottRobert (Bobby) Cortez Scott Historically, black colleges and universities could see historic funding under the Biden plan Republican Winsome Sears wins the race for Virginia Lieutenant Governor Pandemic leads to sharp drop in school enrollment MORE (D-Va.), Who chairs the House Education and Labor Committee, which drafted the proposal, did not respond to a request for comment on its budgetary relevance.
In a statement in July, he called for the PRO Law to be passed in its entirety, but noted that the sanctions were a positive step.
“Under current law, the fine you pay for a parking ticket is greater than the fine that companies pay for violating workers’ right to organize a union,” Scott said in the statement.
“Creating financial penalties for illegal anti-union activities will ultimately deter employers from breaking the law and better protect workers’ rights,” he added.
A spokesperson for the AFL-CIO, one of the largest unions in the United States, told The Hill that he was pleased to see the sanctions included in the Rebuild better act.
“Although it is only a part of the PRO Law, this provision would represent the reform of the labor legislation that is most favorable to workers since the National Labor Relations Law was approved in 1935, ”he said.
President BidenJoe BidenJudge Rejects Trump’s Request to Delay Release of Jan.6 Papers Amid Appeal On Money: Biden’s Battle with Inflation Night Defense and National Security: Russia Concerns Increase MORE sleepless its frame for the $ 1.75 trillion spending plan on Oct. 28, which highlights investments in fighting climate change, educating young Americans, caring for the elderly and expanding affordable housing.
Biden has billed himself as the most pro-Labor president in decades and has voiced support for the full PRO Act, which also includes provisions that facilitate union formation and repeal the “right to work” laws that allow unionized employees not paying dues.
“We should all remember that the National Labor Relations Law didn’t just say that we shouldn’t paralyze unions or just tolerate them. He said we should encourage unions, ”Biden said in a statement encouraging the House to pass the PRO Law in March.
“The PRO Act would take critical steps to help restore this intention,” he added.
And while he’s unlikely to get Republican support in Congress, the public is in favor of the entire PRO Act. TO poll administered by Data for Progress in June showed that 59 percent of likely voters are in favor of the bill, including 40 percent of Republicans.