Money bills – both a short-term bill to keep the government going after Sept. 30 and a longer-term larger bill for the new fiscal year that starts Oct. 1 – top labor’s legislative agenda when Congress returns to D.C. on Sept. 8. But it’s not just the numbers themselves that are important, AFL-CIO Legislative Director Bill Samuel says. It’s what the majority Republicans may try to insert into the measures, too. And most of those measures, especially the permanent money bills and the continuing resolution, offer the ruling Republicans opportunities for anti-worker measures. Samuel is particularly concerned about attempts by the Republican right to overturn pro-worker National Labor Relations Board rulings and Labor Department worker income and safety rules...
“The Republicans have a number of policy riders” that hurt workers, Samuel explains. “They may go to the brink” of shutting down the government, again “over their threats involving the NLRB and the Labor Department.” Those threats include moves to ban the NLRB from using any money to implement items such as the board’s new joint employer standard and ban DOL from starting its new overtime pay rule and several job safety rules, including one regarding silica exposure. The Senate version of the money bill for the Labor Department and the NLRB also bans use of funds for the agency’s four-year old Specialty Healthcare decision, which the GOP alleges allows creation of “micro-unions” within firms. Courts have upheld the NLRB’s ruling.
- Mark Gruenberg, PAI Staff Writer