Biden admin accused of ‘brazen’ attempts to 'weaponize' unionization ahead of election



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The Biden administration came under fire recently over the latest allegation its agencies are meddling with American workers and government contractors to appeal to deep-pocketed unions in an election season.

President Biden has long burnished his support for and from unions, telling a crowd at a 2023 Chicago address: “I meant what I said when I said I’m going to be … the most pro-union president in American history. And I make no apologies for it.”

A new group pledging oversight and accountability over public-sector unionization, and the “control” unions have over government officials, told Fox News Digital they found one example particularly egregious:

The new Public Labor Union Accountability Committee, which Fox News Digital exclusively learned named Wisconsin Gov. Tommy Thompson as its senior adviser on Thursday, took aim at the “arming” of public sector unions ahead of the election.

Thompson and PLUAC accused Health & Human Services Secretary Xavier Becerra of an “all-out push” to force Medicare call center contractors to unionize in recent months.

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Thompson told Fox News Digital that public sector unions are “doing everything they can to disrupt American institutions and take advantage of the American public for years to come.”

While being hailed as a positive development for the workers by its proponents, the feds requested the Medicare contractor rebid its $7 billion contract for approximately 10,000 employees, according to Fast Company.

The outlet noted that some workers in right-to-work states, mainly in the Deep South, where union membership can’t be forced, went on strike.

In December, Becerra and another HHS official issued a statement announcing the department’s proposal to request such contractors re-bid or enter a “labor harmony agreement” with public sector unions.

“In the interest of customer service and continuity of operations, CMS will, under the legally required process, recompete its contract for the Medicare and ACA Marketplace call centers,” the statement read, in part.

In commentary published by the Washington Times, former Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker claimed that labor harmony agreements are the “favored weapon of these unions to pressure businesses into project-labor agreements even if businesses and certain employees do not wish to unionize.”

“If history is a guide, this action will raise costs and slow down service,” wrote Walker, who famously faced an ultimately unsuccessful 2012 recall election supported by a consortium of what he described as “union bosses and liberal special interests.”

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PLUAC officials said that the move amounted to election-year politicking to appease Biden’s allies in union leadership at the expense of the American worker.

“What Secretary Becerra and President Biden are attempting to do is beyond brazen even for Washington, D.C. standards,” PLUAC spokesman Doug Mayer said. “They are clearly hell-bent on pushing the interests of union bosses and political allies ahead of vulnerable seniors seeking basic help from Medicare.”

Mayer said the effort would give union organizers an unfair advantage and that the unions would be able to act against the collective will of their new worker-members – and ultimately lead to less productivity in the call centers.

Mark Mix, president of the National Right to Work Committee – which advocates against compulsory unionism – told Fox News Digital the Medicare call center example constitutes a “naked political giveaway to union bosses.”

Mix said that Biden is counting on union leadership pouring hundreds of millions of dollars via dues into his reelection bid.

“Biden may not be popular with rank-and-file workers, but he intends to appeal to the union officials who control how billions of forced union dues dollars are spent.”

“The fact is, Medicare call center employees are already able to unionize under federal law, so mandating these top-down union organizing agreements isn’t about what the employees want, but merely about bolstering union boss power,” Mix said.

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Meanwhile, in Congress, a top Republican on the issue said the administration is “selling out seniors” who rely on Medicare call center workers.

“We know this administration doesn’t care about workers, but to jeopardize service for seniors is especially shameful,” said Rep. Jim Banks, R-Ind.

Sen. Bill Cassidy, R-La., the top Republican on the HELP committee, which focuses on labor and pensions, shared with Fox News Digital a report that his office composed cataloging several situations he deemed “weaponiz[ation of] executive authority” over U.S. labor policy.

He cited a Department of Labor independent contractor reclassification rule, claiming that it dismantles the gig economy and puts 27 million Americans at risk of no longer being able to work as independent contractors exempt from unionization.

The rule’s official summary, however, claims that such workers “play an important role in the economy,” and that the stipulation is “not intended to disrupt” their businesses.

While the Department of Labor did not respond to a request for comment on the matter, its information sheet on the rule change emphasized that the adjustment is “aligned with longstanding case law” and that the administration does not foresee disruption to independent contractors who are correctly classified as such.

Cassidy added in separate comments that Becerra’s agency trying to renegotiate a nine-year contract two years in has nothing to do with any claims about improving services for seniors.

“It is a Biden administration sacrificing continuity of care for older Americans to benefit large labor unions just before a presidential election,” said Cassidy, who himself is a medical doctor.

The Department of Health & Human Services did not respond to multiple attempts to procure comment for this story.

The White House did not immediately respond to a request for comment.



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