Posts tagged House of Representatives
US House Votes to Repeal Labor Board Rule on Contract, Franchise Workers
January 16, 2024 // The Republican-led U.S. House of Representatives on Friday voted to repeal a federal labor board rule set to take effect in February that would treat companies as the employers of many contract and franchise workers and require them to bargain with those workers’ unions. The House voted 206-177 to nix the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) rule, which has been heavily criticized by business groups. The vote sends the proposal to the Senate where Democrats hold a one-seat majority but Senator Joe Manchin, a Democrat from West Virginia, has said he opposes the rule.
U.S. labor board delays new unionization rule after business groups sue
November 20, 2023 // The U.S. Chamber of Commerce and other business groups — including the American Hotel and Lodging Association, the International Franchise Association and the National Retail Federation — sued the NLRB in federal court in Texas last week to block the rule. They say the rule upends years of precedent and could make companies liable for workers they don’t employ at workplaces they don’t own. But the NLRB says the current rule makes it too easy for companies to avoid their legal responsibility to bargain with workers.
‘Employees come second’: Why California’s legislative staffers hope to unionize
July 21, 2023 // Unlike other state workers, legislative staff are banned from unionizing to advocate for better working conditions. That could soon change under a bill making its way through the State Capitol. Assembly Bill 1, authored by Assembly member Tina McKinnor (D—Inglewood), would provide a framework for legislative staff to form a union. California’s over 200,000 other public employees are able to unionize. But legislative staff are notably excluded from the law, the Dills Act, that established those rights in the 1970s. AB 1 is the fifth attempt in recent years to change that.
Teachers unions critical of ‘Parents Bill of Rights’
March 31, 2023 // The Parents Bill of Rights Act, officially known as H.R. 5, proposed several education reforms, such as: Require more transparency in school curriculum and materials, such as books in classrooms and libraries, as well as how the school spends its budget Establish parental rights to know whether a school allows transgender girls to use restrooms or changing rooms, or play on sports teams that do not match their gender at birth Require schools to obtain parental consent to allow a student to use a different name, pronoun, or facility that do not match the student’s gender at birth The bill passed along mostly party lines by a 213-208 vote, as congressional Republicans currently have the majority in the lower chamber of Congress. AFT President Randi Weingarten, in a press release, claimed that the bill’s passage was an example of “divisive, performative politics.” Weingarten claimed that the bill would force school districts to “divert their limited resources from teaching, censor education, ban books, and harm children.” The union president said that the bill “has very little to do with actually helping students or parents” and that Congress should focus on “supporting our public schools.” NEA President Becky Pringle said the bill will not help public schools because congressional Republicans “would rather seek to stoke racial and social division and distract us from what will really help our students thrive: an inspiring, inclusive, and age-appropriate curriculum that prepares each and every one of them for their future.”
Progressive group pressures congressional office on staff unionization rule
March 21, 2023 // “Capitol Hill staffers’ unionization attempts are not about worker’s rights but building political power and political capital,” said Brigette Herbst, AFFT organizing director, “Unions today are a far cry from unions in the past because they care more about organizing ‘elite’ employees, such as university graduate students or Capitol Hill staffers, than taking care of blue-collar basic concerns. It’s just a new money grab from worker paychecks for union bosses to siphon to politicians.” “As with all public employees, when Capitol Hill staffers unionize, then they will directly negotiate collective bargaining agreements with the politicians that they work for and help elect,” she added, “how is this not a conflict-of-interest and a breach of public trust?”
Biden Wants To Restrict Work and Flexibility for Freelancers
February 20, 2023 // Beyond these misunderstandings, there is a key question that PRO Act proponents have failed to directly answer: Over a dozen surveys—including the Bureau of Labor Statistics' Contingent Worker Supplement—have found that a majority of independent contractors would prefer their current arrangements over an employment arrangement. Workers cite dependent care obligations, personal circumstances, or a strong preference for job flexibility (over job stability) as the primary reasons. Beyond surveys, in a recent study published by the Journal of Political Economy, economists estimated that UberX drivers would require almost twice as much pay to accept the inflexibility that comes from adopting a taxi-style schedule. And for the top 10 percent of DoorDash drivers, losing flexibility is equivalent to a 15 percent pay cut. Sens. Mark Warner (D–Va.), Todd Young (R–Ind.), and Rep. Suzan DelBene (D–Wash.)
Labor unions expand into legislator offices
January 23, 2023 // “Unionizing staffers in legislative offices makes no sense because it creates more problems than it solves,” says Brigette Herbst, senior organizing director for AFFT and a former state legislative staffer, “How does unionization work with the long and unpredictable hours during a legislative session? How will elected officials handle untrustworthy staffers? Union organizers haven’t answered these important questions.” Labor unions have also turned their focus to legislative staffers at the state level.
Republicans to End Unionizing Congressional Offices
January 4, 2023 // “Last year, House Democrats voted to let congressional offices organize and collectively bargain for the first time, despite some nagging logistical questions about how it’d all work. But that measure will be revoked under that rules package the GOP is getting ready to introduce when it takes over this week; none of the offices that voted to unionize last year will be recognized in the new House.”
Opinion: The NLRB Requests More Funding, But Does It Really Need More Money?
December 16, 2022 // The Chair and General Counsel of the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) recently penned a letter to congressional appropriators, pleading for additional funding for the agency in the fiscal year 2023 appropriations bill, which Congress has not yet passed. The letter notes that its funding has remained at $274 million since 2014, but whether that should justify additional funding is worth scrutinizing. The NLRB letter declares that the agency needs “additional funding in FY2023 to simply maintain current operations without any investments in critical infrastructure and cybersecurity needs.” It further states that “we will be forced to reduce our operational capacity, including likely furloughs of the dedicated career employees at the agency, unless Congress provides funding to cover these costs.”
Biden to Congress: Intervene in labor dispute, avert rail strike that would ‘devastate’ US
November 29, 2022 // With a Dec. 9 strike deadline fast approaching, Biden urged Congress to adopt "without any modifications or delay" an agreement brokered by the White House in September between labor unions and rail operators. Four of the 12 unions have voted to reject the five-year agreement, which was intended to avoid a shutdown of the nation's freight rail system. "A rail shutdown would devastate our economy," Biden said in a statement. "Without freight rail, many U.S. industries would shut down. My economic advisors report that as many as 765,000 Americans – many union workers themselves – could be put out of work in the first two weeks alone. Communities could lose access to chemicals necessary to ensure clean drinking water. Farms and ranches across the country could be unable to feed their livestock."