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Uncovering America's methamphetamine history; PA Early Intervention programs vital for child development; measuring long-term impact of the O.J. Simpson trial on media literacy.

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President Biden's name could be left off the ballot in Alabama and Ohio, the Justice Dept. mandates background checks for gun show purchases, and Iowa Gov. Kim Reynolds moves to allow state police to arrest undocumented migrants.

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Housing advocates fear rural low-income folks who live in aging USDA housing could be forced out, small towns are eligible for grants to enhance civic participation, and North Carolina's small and Black-owned farms are helped by new wind and solar revenues.

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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