Republican senators have begun pushing to end the nation’s largest private-sector labor union, the United Auto Workers, a key labor supporter in Congress.
The Senate on Monday approved legislation to end collective bargaining agreements with most auto companies.
The legislation also would end collective-bargaining rights for the vast majority of workers.
In exchange, the auto industry and the government would work toward a long-term, bipartisan agreement to improve working conditions for the auto workers.
The bill would also require auto companies to disclose how many of their workers are union members and how many unionized, and how much they earn.
The industry is lobbying hard to get this legislation passed.
“It is critical that the auto companies continue to have a strong voice in our nation’s labor policy,” Sen. Ron Johnson, R-Wis., the legislation’s sponsor, said in a statement.
“The auto industry will be well served by the bipartisan support of this bipartisan legislation.
If this bill becomes law, it would represent a substantial victory for the American workers who are essential to the success of the auto manufacturing industry.”
The auto industry has long fought against unionization and has complained about unfair labor practices.
The Auto Workers union is made up of the country’s largest automakers.
The group represents about 7,500 workers, mostly in the United States and Canada.
The auto companies have been working for decades to weaken unionization in the auto sector, arguing that workers need to work together to improve the industry’s productivity.
The government and automakers argue that the unions are a hindrance to making auto products and services more competitive.
The UAW has been in negotiations with automakers since 1999, but in 2013 it decided to end negotiations after President Donald Trump took office and promised to roll back regulations in the wake of the 2016 U.S. election.
The Trump administration has continued to try to weaken the unions and has threatened to impose retaliatory tariffs.
In January, Trump ordered a review of how the government protects the auto industries financial interests and whether the government should give the automakers a financial incentive to join a union.
Democrats in Congress have criticized the auto deal as too favorable to the industry and said it would hurt the U.K. auto industry.
The union, which has been on the losing end of trade war after the Brexit vote, has repeatedly said that a UAW-union alliance would benefit workers.