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Pelosi’s Coronavirus Stimulus Bill Demands Union Giveaways that Would Hurt Private Employers

As Congress works to reach agreements on landmark coronavirus stimulus packages, below is a helpful breakdown of (some) demands House Speaker Nancy Pelosi is making in her 1,432-page coronavirus “stimulus” legislation.

Her wish list includes many union giveaways that would cripple private employers who accept stimulus funding or loans, according to The Sentinel.

It was initially thought that only airline companies would be impacted by neutrality agreements, but it now appears that all private employers and even their contractors would be impacted.  The National Right to Work Legal Foundation describes neutrality agreements as a contract between a union and an employer under which the employer agrees to support a union’s attempt to organize its workforce.

Neutrality agreements would remain in effect for five years after businesses repay stimulus loans.  This would also apply to independent contractors that do work for companies that take a stimulus loan.

Here is a short summary of some key takeaways from the bill’s language, courtesy of Senior Policy Analyst Austen Bannan at Americans for Prosperity.

Collective Bargaining – All employers would have to maintain current collective bargaining contracts, maintain worker pay and benefits at the same levels, and retain all workers to receive federal assistance. Businesses will have to have neutrality agreements with unions for 5 years beyond the time they repay loans, and any business that has contracted with the employer that took the loan is also subject to the neutrality agreement.

Multi-employer Pensions Bailout – Adds a bailout of the multi-employer pension plans which have been in distress for years due to poor management, by inserting the text from the controversial Butch-Hatch bill and adding a provision to benefit one specific pension plan for the March of Dimes.  This has nothing to do with coronavirus and further supports an already financially troubled pension plan.

Multi-employer Pensions – Creates a new “composite” form of pension, a composite plan which combines aspects of defined benefit and defined contribution plans. Both these pension provisions further threaten the solvency of the already troubled Pension Benefit Guarantee Corporation.

Air Carrier Collective Bargaining – For an air carrier that receives federal aid, collective bargaining agreements may not be rejected during an air carrier bankruptcy and may not be altered to cut costs. Air carriers must also honor “neutrality” with unions to allow them to organize without any input/intervention. Airlines must further appoint a labor union individual to their board of directors.

Air Carrier Minimum Wage Requirements – Requires that any air carrier receiving assistance pay a minimum wage of $15 per hour for a 10-year period for employees and independent contractors.

Invalidation of Federal Government Union Executive Orders – The Trump Admin executive orders were all invalidated in the draft text. These EOs aimed to lower costs in collective bargaining, end union official/release time, and use the Merit Systems Protection Board for employee discipline (all aligned proposals that we have supported).

Aid Contingent on Boards of Directors Selected by Employees – For all companies receiving federal aid, those companies must permanently have 1/3 of Board of Director members be selected by employees, which can often become labor union representatives.

Paid Leave Mandates – Employers of 500 or more employees would now also be required to pay paid sick leave and extended paid FMLA but would NOT receive tax credits to offset the new mandates.

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