(The Center Square) – Unions in Arizona would need to become more transparent under legislation that’s a vote away from Gov. Doug Ducey’s desk.
Senate Bill 1268 would make explicit what private-sector unions aren’t allowed to restrict from their members. It also would require more thorough reporting of the union’s financial information. Supporters say the measure puts unions under the same business requirements that private enterprise operates under.
The legislation would not affect public-sector labor groups such as police and fire unions unless they are private-sector unions.
Union-aligned lawmakers said the bill would undermine unions' bargaining positions and weaken buying power when negotiating group benefits packages.
“This is an attack on unions. We know it is,” said Rep. Richard Andrade, D-Glendale. “This is an overburden, another hurdle because the ones impacted by this are the ones that are doing the job correctly.”
Andrade said the information that would be required already is available and the employee must ask for it. He said the legislation is evidence that Congress should pass the Protecting the Right to Organize (PRO) Act of 2021. The PRO Act would make unionization easier and supersede state right-to-work laws.
Unions must disclose information to the U.S. Department of Labor, but Republicans said their legislation would require more specificity.
“The bill is sticking up for union members,” said Rep. Jeff Weninger, R-Chandler. “We want them to be able to know exactly how much of that money is being spent and goes towards things and, basically, providing transparency to those individual members, not necessarily to those institutions.”
Democrats said the bill is destined to lose an expensive court battle over federal labor protections.
SB 1268 passed along party lines. The state Senate must approve of changes made in the House before it’s sent to the governor for consideration.