Democrats slip pro-union provisions into massive spending package

Unions vsThe big winners would be if Democrats came up with trillion-dollar infrastructure and the social spending package passed.

While the Right to Organize Protection Act, or PRO Act, did not have enough backing to pass, some of its elements were incorporated into the Democrats’ $ 3.5 trillion plan.

Reconciliation packages are allowed to go through a simple majority vote, thus avoiding potential obstructions. Democrats use the mechanism to advance their massive spending agenda, although a key rule is that items included in reconciliation must relate to the budget and cannot include policy changes. To get around this problem, many of the union-related proposals relate to increasing or imposing fines.


For example, a new provision Democrats have included makes it “illegal” for an employer to “promise, threaten or take action” to “permanently replace an employee who participates in a strike.” While this may sound like policy making, Rachel Greszler, an economics researcher at the Heritage Foundation, explained that these decrees come with monetary penalties.

“What they really want is that they want the policy in place, but when they set the fee, it gives it that budgetary element which, hopefully, from their point of view, exceeds the Byrd rule, ”she said in reference to the requirement limiting the inclusion of non-budgetary provisions in Senate reconciliation legislation.

One of the new violations that would be considered an unfair labor practice and punishable by fines under the National Labor Relations Board would be the permanent replacement by a company of a striking worker. The legislation also increases fines for misclassifying an employee and provides for a fine for companies to organize “captive audience” meetings during an organizing campaign.

The cost of offenses is also increased, with certain penalties being assessed at $ 50,000 for a first offense and $ 100,000 for repeat offenders.

An added benefit for unions is that Democrats have tied the e-vehicle tax credit to cars that are only made in union stores.

Greszler further highlighted a provision which provides for a tax deduction for union dues. She said the provision applies differently in different states. Some workers in states with no right to work are required to pay union agency fees, but no fees for the political and lobbying portion of dues. Under the proposed restrictions, if a worker only pays the agency fee but not the political part, that worker cannot deduct their contributions, Greszler said.

“This only allows the deduction as long as you are a member who contributes to lobbying and contributing to the political campaign as a union member,” she said.

Kristen Swearingen – who is the chair of the Coalition for a Democratic Workplace representing more than 600 major business organizations, including the United States Chamber of Commerce – criticized the pro-union provisions as a workaround of the PRO Act in a statement.

“Requiring taxpayers to subsidize union dues as part of the Democratic budget plan favors unions and their political allies over workers and small businesses,” she said. “Congress should focus on policies that support all working Americans, including those that increase individual deductions related to job training, rather than imposing tax breaks on unions that support and fund politicians and Democratic causes . “

Rep. Kevin Brady, the prominent member of the powerful Ways and Means Committee, told the Washington Examiner in an interview on Friday that the legislation put forward by Democrats is good for unions. He also highlighted the tax deduction of union dues in his denunciation of the bill.

“In fact, they forced the 90% of American workers who are not unionized to subsidize the dues of those who are,” Brady said. The Texas Republican said there are monetary benefits as well if certain green spending plans are tied to prevailing wages.


Ultimately, the Democrats’ union support proposals will face the Senate parliamentarian, who approves budget-related aspects that can be included in final legislation.

Brady said he hopes the union provisions of the legislation will run into “hurdles” when considered for inclusion by the Senate parliamentarian.

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Key words: News, Unions, Congresses, Work, Work, Expenses

Original author: Zechariah Halaschak

Original location: Democrats slip pro-union provisions into massive spending program

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