GOP courts blue collar voters but most favor anti-union ‘right to work’ laws and reject laws that would protect right to organize

By Steven Greenhouse, The Guardian

After years of struggle, America’s labor unions enjoy greater public approval than at any time in more than 50 years. Yet even as the Republican party seeks to rebrand itself as the party of the working class, its lawmakers, by and large, remain as hostile as ever toward organized labor. It doesn’t look like that situation is about to change.

Labor Movement

With the midterm elections approaching, and many polls indicating that the Republicans will win control of the House, nearly all Republican lawmakers in Congress oppose proposals that would make it easier to unionize. One hundred and eleven Republican House members and 21 senators are co-sponsoring a bill that would weaken unions by letting workers in all 50 states opt out of paying any fees to the unions that represent them. And at a time when many young workers – among them, Starbucks workers, Apple store workers, museum workers, grad students – are flocking into unions, Republican lawmakers often deride unions as woke, leftwing and obsolete.

Congressional Democrats – seeing the surge in unionization drives along with the aggressive anti-union campaigns by Starbucks, Amazon and other companies – say there is increased urgency to enact the Protecting the Right to Organize Act (Pro Act), which would make it easier for workers to unionize. The Pro Act passed the House last year – with 205 Republicans voting against and five in favor – but it faces an uphill battle in the Senate, largely because of a GOP filibuster, and will almost certainly fail to pass if Republicans gain Senate seats in the midterms.

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