Freedom Foundation

Biden’s Labor Plans Will Be a Major Change

Originally published here in the WSJ

Joe Biden would also create a “cabinet-level working group” to “explore the expansion of sectoral bargaining,” under which entire industries would be forced to a single bargaining table with unions to set wages and working conditions industrywide. The only difference between sectoral bargaining and the New Deal-era regulation of industry by the National Recovery Administration is that union executives write the rules instead of government bureaucrats.

Mr. Biden would, on his “first day in office,” rescind three executive orders issued by President Trump to make collective bargaining in the federal government more efficient, streamline the process of dismissing poor-performing federal employees and limit taxpayer-funded union time. The Office of Personnel Management estimates that federal employees spent 3.6 million hours working on union business while on the clock in 2016, costing taxpayers $177 million. One of the president’s orders seeks to reduce this “official time” by two-thirds.

To discourage the kind of corruption that has recently plagued the United Auto Workers, the Labor Department has developed a trio of regulatory reforms that would expand existing financial transparency requirements for unions and apply them to additional entities, such as union trust funds. While not explicitly mentioned by the campaign, there is little doubt the proposals would be in jeopardy under a Biden administration.