PRO Act

The United States’ labor laws are outdated and in need of reform. The PRO Act presents the opportunity to reverse course and finally empower America’s working class

The Protecting the Right to Organize (PRO) Act, as introduced by Representative Bobby Scott (D-VA-03) and Senator Patty Murray (D-WA), strengthens current federal laws allowing private-sector workers to organize and join a union, and allowing them to bargain for better wages and benefits.

Not only does the bill facilitate workers to form a union, it also aids in completing the initial collective bargaining agreement. The bill additionally clarifies the right to strike and prohibits employers from permanently replacing striking employees and penalizes employers that violate workers’ rights.

February 16, 2021

Dear Representative:

I am writing to urge you to become a co-sponsor of the Protecting the Right to Organize (PRO) Act, introduced by Representative Bobby Scott and Senator Patty Murray. If passed, this bill would vastly improve workers’ rights across the country, make it easier to join unions, and increase penalties on employers who knowingly violate workers’ rights. Given the wildly outdated and even regressive labor laws on the books today, the PRO Act presents the opportunity to reverse course and finally empower America’s working class.

The United States’ lack of labor protections and decline in union density has resulted in soaring inequality—which has only been exacerbated by the ongoing pandemic. Outrageously, U.S. billionaires increased their wealth by 1.1 trillion dollars since the start of the COVID-19 crisis. At the same time, millions of workers lost their jobs and currently face food insecurity and eviction. Crucially, this bill would eliminate so-called “Right-to-Work” laws, peddled by corporate interests and designed to deny workers their right to form a union, and guarantee the right to union organizing and collective bargaining. Today, even in non-Right-to-Work states, union organizing campaigns are often met with severe pushback from employers and even illegal retaliation. The PRO Act would afford working people the power to organize for secure higher wages, better benefits, and safer working conditions.

If passed, the PRO Act would ensure protections for workers engaged in union organizing campaigns. The bill would, among other things, create new penalties for employers who violate federal labor law by retaliating against workers attempting to unionize, prohibit employers from requiring workers to attend “captive audience” meetings in which employers communicate anti-union propaganda, and make it easier for workers to seek compensation when employers disrupt union activity.

The PRO Act also promises to safeguard a vital tool in workers’ fight to secure unions and contracts: the right to strike. The bill clarifies the right to strike and prohibits employers from permanently replacing striking employees, protecting workers’ freedom of speech and ability to organize effectively. The PRO Act would also repeal prohibitions on secondary strikes, wherein workers strike in solidarity with workers at another company fighting for higher wages or better working conditions.

Not only does the bill facilitate the ability of workers to form a union and ensure protections for organizing activities, but it also establishes a process to help workers and employers reach a first contract during the bargaining process, preventing employers from intentionally dragging out negotiations. Under the bill, gig workers would be guaranteed the right to collectively bargain, too. Given the ever-growing gig economy and corporations’ efforts to misclassify workers as “independent contractors,” affording the millions of gig workers across the country the right to organize is needed now more than ever.

The PRO Act would also end mandatory arbitration clauses that prevent workers from holding their employer accountable for labor law violations, guaranteeing underrepresented workers the right to engage in litigation as a collective. Additionally, under the bill, all workers will be protected against labor law violations regardless of immigration status.

Even before the pandemic, workers saw declining wages, poor working conditions, diminished benefits. Now, America’s working class continues to face an unprecedented crisis and workers will continue to suffer if Congress does not act. That’s why we urge you to co-sponsor the PRO Act and make sure working people have a fighting chance at securing the higher wages, better benefits, and stronger workplace protections they deserve. 

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