An SB 5 protestor from Ohio. (photo: mmbooklover)

Buried in the law to reform welfare programs, House Republicans have added a provision to make it more difficult for union members to strike. From ThinkProgress:

Much of the bill is based upon verifying that those who receive food stamps benefits are meeting the federal requirements for doing so. However, one section buried deep within the bill adds a startling new requirement. The bill, if passed, would actually cut off all food stamp benefits to any family where one adult member is engaging in a strike against an employer

[...]

[R]emoving entire families from eligibility while a single adult family member is striking would have a chilling effect on workers who are considering going on strike for better wages, benefits, or working conditions — something that is especially alarming in light of the fact that unions are one of the fundamental building blocks of the middle class that allow people to earn wages that keep them off food stamps.

Making it more difficult for members to strike will make it harder for labor unions to use one of their most effective tools to improve their members’ wages and benefits. The result is unions will become less effective, so fewer people will see any benefit in joining one.

Much like the assault on collective bargaining rights of public sector unions at the state level, we have Republicans using “deficit reduction” to justify structural changes that, in the long term, will politically weaken Democrats and their allies.

This is just a small part of the Republican Party’s concerted, long-term, political warfare to systematically change the law in order to strengthen their own political position.