Biden Attempts to Tie PRO Union Act With Infrastructure Spending Bill

Mish

Business community, labor groups and progressives square off over the PRO Act.

Progressives Push Union Agenda

In a move I believe will fail, Democrats Tie Infrastructure Package to the PRO Act.

Progressives, labor unions and the business community are squaring off over the Protecting the Right to Organize Act. The bill would make it easier for gig workers and other independent contractors to unionize and set an enforceable timeline for union-employer negotiations to commence. It would also undercut states’ “right to work” laws by allowing unions to collect dues from workers who opted out.

The path of the union bill is hazy as Congress starts to transform Mr. Biden’s outline into legislation. The labor proposal doesn’t square with Senate rules on what sort of legislation can typically be advanced with just a simple majority; most Republicans oppose it and several Democrats in the 50-50 chamber have remained noncommittal in their stance.

“The president supports the PRO Act and wants to see it passed in its entirety,” the official said. Tim Schlittner, communications director for the AFL-CIO, said removing the act from the emerging legislation would be a mistake.

Passage Not Likely 

Passage is unlikely because Democrats cannot advance the bill in the Senate under budget reconciliation rules. 

And if not, Republicans would kill the measure with a filibuster. Moreover, it's not clear if the Democrats even have 50 votes.

The PRO Act was approved by the House last month, 225-206, with the support of nearly all Democrats and five Republicans. 

Senator Joe Manchin (D., W.Va.) and Kyrsten Sinema (D., Ariz.) haven’t not yet expressed support. 

If one of them decided against then Democrats would need at least one Republican to vote aye. 

Democrats once again have their eyes on changing filibuster riles, but even then it is not clear they have 50 votes for the PRO Act.

Finally, both Manchin and Sinema are between unlikely and highly unlikely to change the filibuster rules.

Right to Work

I fully support right-to-work laws and hope the Supreme Court takes up a case. 

In Janus vs. AFSCME (2018), the Supreme Court correctly dealt a huge blow to forced membership in unions.

I commented Supreme Court Delivers Huge Blow to Unions!

Mark Janus

By a 5-to-4 vote, with the more conservative justices in the majority, the court ruled that government workers who choose not to join unions may not be required to help pay for collective bargaining.

End Run Around Janus

As an end run around Janus, Democrats seek to force everyone to join a union. 

I believe that is unconstitutional.

I hope for a broader Supreme Court test, mandating right-to-work across the board.

Lost Opportunity

Trump had a chance in the first two years to pass national right-to-work legislation. 

Instead, he wasted two years messing with killing Obamacare entirely, something he was never going to have enough votes for.

Why I Hate Unions

For discussion, please see Unions Target Amazon to Increase Dwindling Members; Why I Hate Unions

Also note my April 9 post, By an Overwhelming Margin Alabama Amazon Workers Reject the Union.

Public Unions Ought to Be Illegal

I salute Ronald Reagan for firing all the PATCO workers when they attempted to shut down air traffic.

Public unions protect bad cops, bad teachers, even pedophiles.

For discussion, please see Public Unions Have No Business Existing: Even FDR Admitted That

Mish

Comments (13)
No. 1-6
PecuniaNonOlet
PecuniaNonOlet

Slightly OT but...it seems government is fully aware of the coming disaster with coastal flooding on both sides of the political aisle but no one wants to talk about it,

  • The White House infrastructure plan included just one sentence about it, saying the American Jobs Plan will provide “transition and relocation assistance to support community-led transitions for the most vulnerable tribal communities.”*
Eddie_T
Eddie_T

I think it’s good for the Democratic Party to do something pro union......I’d much rather see a platform built around labor organizing than one based on identity politics and social justice for people who think the world owes them something extra because they weren’t born Caucasian, or because they’re not heterosexual or “cis gendered."

I do support the right to work without being forced to pay union dues however. And I fully acknowledge that public employee unions have gotten completely out of control.

But corporations have too much power over workers now, and workers deserve a living wage. I think there is a place for organized labor, which would be a tempering factor in the rise of wealth inequality.

PecuniaNonOlet
PecuniaNonOlet

Mish, would be great for you to do an economic update on brexit. I am still waiting for rainbows and unicorns. From what I read, it seems like rough seas and demons.

Sechel
Sechel

Right to work laws increase employment but drive down wages. On balance they benefit employers over employees. Let's be honest, in a factory, warehouse or plant it's an asymmetric relationship. Unions level the playing field

Zardoz
Zardoz

It's all gravy, might as well put it on the train.

Casual_Observer
Casual_Observer

Corporations also protect bad people. If you are going to go down the path of protecting bad people, I think corporations are a lot worse than public unions.


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