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OPINION | EDITORIAL: Union labels

They’re stuck all over Washington October 6, 2021 at 3:19 a.m.

The current president likes to say that unions brung him to the dance. So he wants to be the most pro-union president of all time. The lion's share--upward of 90 percent--of American workers are non-union, especially in the private sector, but this president knows how to return favors.

And favors reap more favors. Unions have turned out their lobbying arms in support of President Biden's spending packages. After all, a strong Joe Biden and a strong Biden administration agenda equals strong unions. Somewhere Samuel Gompers is smiling.

And not just the $1 trillion bipartisan and reasonably sane infrastructure bill is discussed at lobbying dinners. The $3.5 trillion (or higher) very partisan spending blowout is on the menu, too. Might as well go all-in.

According to the papers, the Service Employees International Union (representing hospital and nursing home workers, among others) is spending $7 million in its lobbying campaign. The Wall Street Journal reports that the National Education Association is spending millions in its own campaign, including paying some workers to go door-to-door in certain swing congressional districts to rally support. The American Federation of Teachers is paying for a phone campaign to push certain congressfolks in the right direction.

The unions know what's good for them. And these spending bills are good for them!

NBC News brings this to our attention: Among all the tax incentives blistering these bills, one would give $4,500 for those who buy union-made electric vehicles. Any electric vehicle will get you a $7,500 credit, but that jumps by another $4,500 if that vehicle was made by union labor.

The New York Post quotes a U.S. representative who issued no apologies for the sweetener: "In a time when we've seen decreased rates of unionization, the federal government should seek to 'tilt the scale.'" The representative is Dan Kildee, a Democrat who may also know what's good for him and his political career in Flint, Mich.

Other provisions would allow union workers to deduct union dues from their taxes. Which would in effect mean the rest of us would pick up that cost. Or our grandchildren will, as with so much else being put on the national credit card.

In another helpful favor to the unions, these bills would allow the National Labor Relations Board to issue fines to businesses, up to $100,000, for violating rules such as replacing striking employees or discriminating against employees who return from a strike. And unions would be allowed to hold elections over the Internet. Which sounds like a recipe for union bosses to win every election from now on.

As reporters for various news outfits keep digging into these bills, doubtless they'll find more goodies for the union bosses. No wonder those bosses are throwing millions into the lobbying effort. They know a good investment when they see one.

None of this should surprise. President Biden was pro-union when he was Candidate Biden. He's pushed the PRO Act, which could weaken right-to-work laws in states like Arkansas.

One of his first decisions in office was to restore collective bargaining power to federal employees. Later, he would weigh in on that Amazon unionization effort at an Alabama warehouse. CNN reported that in 2014, during a speech at the United Auto Workers conference, Joe Biden said unions were "the only ones keeping . . . barbarians at the gate." Those barbarians being business owners, we suppose.

In other news, The Wall Street Journal printed a brief in this week's editions: The Service Employees International Union has pledged to "cut off financial support and endorsement" for any Democratic U.S. representative who doesn't support the spending legislation being proposed.

The unions know what's good for them. And these spending bills are good for them.

Print Headline: Union labels

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