BY: Bill McMorris
March 7, 2017
WH has indicated Trump will sign bill overturning rule that gave unions ‘unprecedented new leverage
The Senate voted to roll back an Obama executive order that would have shut out businesses undergoing labor disputes from obtaining federal contracts.
The Senate passed a resolution Monday evening to reverse the “blacklisting” rule, which would force companies to disclose any allegations of unfair labor practices when bidding for federal contracts. Previously, contractors were only forced to disclose actual violations that had been determined following agency investigations.
The Senate vote came weeks after the House approved a resolution overturning the rule. House Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R., Calif.) had made overturning the executive order a priority, pointing to a study that estimated compliance “will cost companies $454.6 million in the first year alone.” Sen. Lamar Alexander (R., Tenn.), chairman of the Senate Committee on Health, Education, Labor, & Pensions, said that the executive order was overly burdensome because it would punish companies before investigations into the allegations could be completed.
BY COLE STANGLER TUESDAY, FEBRUARY 21, 2017
Just about every congressional session, Republicans unveil what’s known as a “right to work” bill. Under the guise of liberating workers, these measures make it harder for unions to collect dues, limiting their power on the job and in the political arena. Championed by business lobbyists and loathed by organized labor, the federal version, which covers the private sector, is typically seen as pie-in-the-sky legislation not worth getting too riled up about on either side.
But the latest iteration — introduced by Congressmen Joe Wilson (R-SC) and Steve King (R-IA) earlier this month — is triggering an emphatically different reaction within union ranks.
“I can’t remember a time when it was this serious of an attack,” labor lobbyist Ken Zinn told the Voice. Zinn has worked in Washington for over three decades and is currently political director for National Nurses United, a labor union that represents approximately 185,000 registered nurses across the country. “It’s certainly something we and everyone else should be extremely worried about.”
A national right-to-work law — versions of which are already on the books in 28 different states — would eliminate “union security” clauses, a standard part of labor contracts, that require workers to pay fees to labor organizations that bargain on their behalf. When in place, they solidify a key source of revenue for unions. Right-to-work strangles that revenue.