Biden’s New Deal: Government Stacked For Unions

by | Jul 18, 2023 | AFL-CIO, Gig Economy, Industry, Labor Relations Ink, Legal, Politics, Pro Act, Union Organizing, Unions

Biden Union Bailout continues: Recent months have seen a flurry of pro-labor actions by the White House, Congress, and government agencies. With Democrats controlling Washington, unions are profiting from recent memory’s most union-friendly political climate. Here’s a rundown of key developments that have labor leaders grinning:

PRO-mises, PRO-mises: The Protecting the Right to Organize (PRO) Act passed a major hurdle, clearing the Senate HELP committee in May. This sweeping legislation would severely limit right-to-work laws, impose fines on employers for unfair labor practices, and weaken prohibitions on secondary boycotts. Supporters call it labor law reform; opponents have labeled it “the peak of labor cronyism.”

The NLRB’s Pro-labor Pivot: Under Biden’s appointees, the National Labor Relations Board has made multiple decisions bolstering union rights. In addition to easing rules around workplace speech, the Board pivoted towards finding most non-compete agreements illegal. It returned to an Obama-era standard that will classify more gig workers as employees.

Biden’s Union Romance: President Biden earned an early AFL-CIO endorsement for 2024, reflecting labor’s delight with the administration’s direction. Biden even threw shade at Amazon, tweaking the company for its anti-union reputation. His administration is stocked with union alums and supporters.

Strikes and Support: Labor Secretary Julie Su has publicly supported workers’ right to strike while criticizing companies like Starbucks for alleged union-busting. The NLRB also ruled that a Toyota dealer illegally discriminated against striking workers.

Contractor Crackdown: The NLRB outlined a stricter test for classifying workers as contractors rather than employees. This could enable more gig workers to unionize.

Athlete Activism: A complaint filed with the NLRB argues that Northwestern University football players should be classified as employees with collective bargaining rights. This could pave the way for unionization in college sports.

With Democrats facing tough midterm elections, expect more union giveaways while still controlling Congress. Love it or hate it, the federal government is pushing its thumb firmly on the Union side of the scale.

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