Sen. Jim Risch, R-Idaho, introduced the Preventing Labor Union Slowdowns (Plus) Act, which initially focuses on changing the National Labor Relations Act to define a labor slowdown by port unions as an unfair labor practice. The implementation of the PLUS ACT would revise the current labor law to say that unions’ negotiations against port automation are an unfair labor practice. Risch, who co-sponsored the bill with Sens. Mike Crapo, R-Idaho, and Rick Scott, R-Fla., said the change is needed “to protect our national supply chain during upcoming maritime union negotiations."
In a March 24 news release, Risch expressed how American businesses have experienced hardships and additional costs caused by ongoing supply chain disruptions and how these ongoing delays are adding thousands of dollars in additional costs when goods are stuck in port. “With the PLUS Act, Risch explained, while labor negotiations at ports get underway the implementation of the new law would ensure businesses are not held hostage and left to foot the bill if a labor dispute occurs.”