( Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call File Photo)
Del. Eleanor Holmes Norton, D-D.C., said Tuesday that Republicans have launched their “first attack” on District of Columbia autonomy in the 114th Congress in a bill that would make violence from labor union organizing a federal crime.
The “Freedom from Union Violence Act of 2015,” sponsored by Sen. David Vitter, R-La., would criminalize violence committed by unions affecting commerce by robbery, extortion or threatening physical violence, subject to a fine up to $250,000 or up to 20 years in prison. The bill includes a provision noting that its jurisdiction would include criminal acts interfering with interstate commerce as well as commerce in the U.S. territories and the District of Columbia.
“D.C.’s labor laws have been thrown into a national anti-labor bill in a way that Senator Vitter could not do with local or state labor laws anywhere else,” Norton said in a statement. In other words, the D.C. representative took issue with the fact that the federal bill would not affect labor laws in the states, but would affect D.C., since the District is not a state. Full story