WASHINGTON (AP) – The Democratic-led House of Commons has passed legislation that will boost labor unions after decades of lawsuits and legislative setbacks that have brought the once-terrible ability to organize the labor movement to its knees.
The event, presented by union leaders and labor allies as a cure for working-class wage stagnation, was approved on Tuesday mainly by 225-206 votes of the party. But in the narrowly divided Senate, it faces a very certain Republican blockade; it is unlikely to become law.
Lawmaker Tim Ryan spoke angrily to Republicans, most of whom opposed the decision, mocking them for rejecting the “help cursed workers” bill.
“Heaven forbids turning the balance that has been going in the wrong direction for 50 years,” said Ryan, D-Ohio, raising his voice. “We are talking about pensions, you are complaining. We are talking about raising the minimum wage, you are complaining. We are talking about giving them the right to organize, you are complaining. “But if we were to cut taxes here, we would all be queuing up to vote ‘yes.’
The democratically motivated take place in a historically resilient South in a mass organizational drive that offers a decisive test for the labor movement that shows new signs of life after decades of atrophy.
President Biden, who had previously vowed to be “the most union president he has ever seen,” recently gave his tacit endorsement to the organizers of the nearly 6,000-strong Amazon Organizers’ Union in Birmingham, Alabama, as a sign of unprecedented support. He also supports the democratic bill.
Democrats are seeking to bolster bonds with ordinary union members, a key constituency that is crucial to getting out of the polls. Some have moved on under former President Donald Trump, despite the Republican Party’s long-standing dislike of unions, taking over Trump’s “America First” agenda, his hostile stance on world trade.
While Republicans welcome conservative cultural issues to the blue collar involved by the party, many are pushing for measures that will expand the workforce and benefit their economic output.
“I have heard Democrats argue that it is the unions that have formed the middle class,” said Virginia Fox, RN.C., a senior Republican in the House House of Representatives. “No, the unions did not build a middle class. In this country, entrepreneurs and individual workers built the middle class. “And what this bill does is take away their freedom.”
Trade unions have long been the basis of democratic support. But as the number of union workers has dwindled in recent decades, so has the workforce.
It is a collapse demanded by Republicans at the state level with the passage of the so-called Labor Law, which restricted trade unions from charging wages to members who refuse to join but benefit from deals negotiated on their behalf. Hakim ff Efris, a Democrat in New York’s No. 4 House of Representatives, says there has been a “relentless attack on Americans’ ability to self-organize on a daily basis.”
Critics and supporters agree that the House’s measures will repeal such laws. It also prohibits practices that employers may use to prolong organizational incentives, contract negotiations, and ultimately ratify an agreement.
Other provisions of the bill include:
– Give organizers more control over how trade union votes are cast, allowing them to be held by employers who may be hostile to those efforts.
– Empower the National Council on Labor Relations to fine companies that do not comply with the council’s orders.
– Providing organizers with access to employee contact information, which they could then access outside of business hours during trade union disks.
Among dozens of other provisions, it prohibits companies from permanently replacing striking workers, preventing some from being classified as “independent contractors” as a way of denying workplace protection, and banning employers from forcing employees into “captive classrooms” where the union is desperate.
Trade unions have historically offered a way to higher wages. But during the tax debate, Republicans focused on the Democrats’ “long-term” political relationship.
“This far-flung bill is nothing more than a wish list of union leaders,” said Fox, who led the Republican debate on the bill.
Virginia Republican Bob Goode ruled out the bill, saying it would effectively “direct money to Democrats” by allowing unions to raise additional taxes.
But the debate also showed an awkward contrast to those members of the party who took advantage of Trump’s call to white, working-class voters to try to transform the GOP, the country’s longest-running business base, into a working-class party.
In his speech, Ohio Congressman Ryan appealed to Republicans who want to help the working class take action, rather than focus on the issues of the Cultural War.
“Stop talking about Dr. Soyce, start working with us on behalf of American workers,” he shouted, referring to the recent conservative scandal over several Dr. Soyce children’s books that were considered racially and culturally insensitive.
The five Republicans who voted for the bill are: Brian Fitzpatrick of Pennsylvania, John von Catko of New York, Chris Smith of New Jersey, FFF Van Drew of New Jersey, and Don Young of Alaska.
Henry Cuelar, from Texas, was one of the Democrats who opposed the move.