Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., and Sen. Rand Paul, R-Ky., introduced a national right-to-work amendment to the Employee Non-Discrimination Act (ENDA) that would prohibit labor unions from collecting dues from certain employees.
Right-to-work laws are on the books in almost half the states. They typically strip protections from workers, reducing union membership, and thus weakening a union’s bargaining power, Raw Story reported.
ENDA is meant to enforce new workplace rules to crack down on discrimination based on sexual orientation and gender identity.
It was first proposed in 1994 and passed the House in 2007. It has never passed a vote in the Senate.
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Meanwhile, Kentucky’s unemployment rate is higher than the national average and employment in eastern Kentucky continues to plummet. The state’s unemployment rate is 8.4 percent, while the national average is 7.2 percent.
As the Senate is expected to debate ENDA this week, the amendment from Kentucky Republicans is expected to be blocked by Senate Democrats.
Seven Republicans joined Democrats Monday to advance the bill and overcome a filibuster.
Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, D-Nev., believes a federal law is needed “to ensure all Americans, no matter where they are, will not be afraid to go to work.”
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The GOP controlled House of Representatives is less than satisfied with the bill.
House Speaker John Boehner, R-Ohio, said on Monday that he opposes ENDA because it would open businesses up to lawsuits.
“The Speaker believes this legislation will increase frivolous litigation and cost American jobs, especially small business jobs,” said Boehner spokesman Michael Steel.
Boehner says he believes the current laws already protect LGBT workers from discrimination in the workplace.