Rep. Axne Introduces Laws to Protect Health Insurance for Locked Out Staff

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Yesterday, Rep. Cindy Axne (IA-03) introduced laws to guard staff’ health care advantages from being significantly altered or taken away during a lock-out. This bill targets employers who use this tactic as means to force their unionized employees back into the workplace versus negotiating in good faith to resolve disputes. 

Rep. Axne’s Locked Out Staff’ Healthcare Protection Act would create a separate unfair labor practice category, punishable by fines, for employers that engage on this practice. Current co-sponsors include Rep. Norton (DC-At-Large), Rep. Jackson Lee (TX-18), Rep. Titus (NV-01), Rep. Williams (GA-05), Rep. Pocan (WI-02), and Rep. Newman (IL-03). Senator Sherrod Brown of Ohio is leading the Senate’s version of the Locked Out Staff’ Healthcare Protection Act.

“Staff have the precise to collectively bargain for higher wages, higher working conditions, and higher advantages, yet we see employers willing to place the health and safety of staff in danger by cutting off their advantages for the sake of getting them back within the door,” said Rep. Cindy Axne. “I’m pleased to affix my colleagues in introducing this much-needed bill since the very last thing that staff in Iowa and across the country ought to be fearful about is losing access to health care during a lock-out.”

This laws has been endorsed by: American Federation of Labor and Congress of Industrial Organizations (AFL-CIO), International Union, United Automobile, Aerospace & Agricultural Implement Staff of America (UAW), United Food and Business Staff (UFCW), Bakery, Confectionery, Tobacco Staff, and Grain Millers (BCTGM), Service Employees International Union (SEIU), Communications Staff of America (CWA), United Mine Staff of America (UMWA), and International Association of Iron Staff (IW).

Rep. Axne is continuous to advocate on behalf of Iowa staff. Earlier this yr, the Congresswoman introduced the Striking Staff Healthcare Protection Act, which requires employers to proceed providing medical insurance to staff on strike.

Endorsements:

“The BCTGM commends Representative Axne for introducing the Locked Out Staff Health Care Protection Act. We applaud her ongoing commitment to guard the health care advantages of striking and locked out staff. This laws and Representative Axne’s Striking Staff Health Care Protection Act help level the playing field for staff during a labor dispute. Staff should never lose their medical insurance just because they’re exercising their legal rights.” – The Bakery, Confectionery, Tobacco Staff and Gran Millers’ International Union

“Three years into the pandemic, it’s clear that frontline staff are essential and we must be respected, protected and paid. It’s shameful the lengths corporations will go to divide brave working people who find themselves demanding higher wages, higher advantages, and unions for all. Working people mustn’t have to make a choice from healthcare and taking a stand for what is true for us, our patients and our communities. I’m proud to support the Locked Out Staff Healthcare Protection Act, a vital step in rewriting the foundations so working people, not corporations, have the ability.”  Barbara Standerson, PT, MHS, and Vice President of SEIU Healthcare Minnesota and Iowa

“When an organization denies health care during a labor dispute, they are not just hurting a employee to achieve leverage. They’re attacking families of the employee, hurting spouses, they usually are hurting children. We couldn’t be prouder of Congresswoman Axne for introducing this type of laws.  She all the time puts people before profits, and families’ well-being above all else. We wish to thank her for introducing this and we stay up for the day it becomes law.” –  Charlie Wishman, President, Iowa Federation of Labor AFL-CIO

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