Maryann Tobin

Congressional lawmakers hope to punish union members by tying strikes to Food Stamp benefits with new legislation, HR 1135, the Welfare Reform Act.

Rep. Scott (R-SC) Rep. Garrett and Rep. Burton (R-IN) have introduced legislation aimed at stopping individuals and families from getting food through the Food Stamp program if they go on strike.

"(3) STRIKING WORKERS INELIGIBLE- Notwithstanding any other provision of law, no member of a family unit shall participate in the food stamp program at any time that any able-bodied work eligible adult member of such household is on strike as defined in the Labor Management Relations Act, 1947 (29 U.S.C. 142(2)), because of a labor dispute (other than a lockout) as defined in section 2(9) of the National Labor Relations Act (29 U.S.C. 152(9))

In the case of loss of income due to any striking family member, the bill adds that a "family unit shall not receive an increased allotment as the result of a decrease in the income of the striking member or members of the household."

The legislation is designed to specifically punish union members and their children, by depriving them of the ability to buy food through the Food Stamp program.

HR 1135 was introduced on March 16, 2011.

Full text of HR 1135 link: