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GOP VP Nominee Vance calls Republicans champions of the middle class; President Biden is isolating with Covid while sources say Schumer privately urged Biden to step aside in the 2024 election: NY bill addresses monopolies, anti-trust loopholes; ACLU of Alabama launches Project MOVE to boost voter turnout.

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Ohio Sen. JD Vance makes an 'America First' VP nomination acceptance speech. Tough national security talk papers over GOP complexities on foreign policy. Sen. Bob Menendez resigns and President Biden catches COVID.

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It's grass-cutting season and with it, rural lawn mower races, Montana's drive-thru blood project is easing shortages, rural Americans spend more on food when transportation costs are tallied, and a lack of good childcare is thwarting rural business owners.

Reconciliation Bill Would Increase Fines for Labor-Law Violations

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Monday, November 1, 2021   

CARSON CITY, Nev. -- Labor leaders are pressing for a deal on the Build Back Better reconciliation package, because it increases penalties on companies that violate the National Labor Relations Act (NLRA).

The new bill would impose civil fines of $50,000 to $100,000 per violation.

Dan Mauer, director of government affairs for the Communication Workers of America, said companies will keep flouting the rules until they have a financial incentive to comply.

"If we want to rebuild the labor movement and, in turn, rebuild the middle class, we've got to make sure those issues get corrected," Mauer asserted.

Labor groups were only able to get a few of their priorities into the reconciliation bill.

The rest are in the PRO Act, which passed the U.S. House this spring but has been blocked by Republicans in the Senate, who argued the changes are too onerous for companies, especially those struggling to recover after the pandemic.

The PRO Act would expand the NLRA, so companies would be in violation if they retaliate against workers trying to organize a union, require workers to attend so-called "captive audience" meetings, or permanently replace workers who go on strike.

Carla Campos-Ortiz, a member of CWA Local 9413 in Sparks, said state labor protections are very weak and leave workers to fend for themselves.

"Especially in Nevada, we're a right-to-work state," Campos-Ortiz pointed out. "A lot of these people get fired, and they don't have a choice. They have no way to fight for their jobs to avoid getting laid off."

The PRO Act would also ban the practice of locking out employees prior to a strike, or misclassifying certain workers as "non-employees."

Disclosure: Communications Workers of America contributes to our fund for reporting on Human Rights/Racial Justice, and Livable Wages/Working Families. If you would like to help support news in the public interest, click here.


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