Breaking Down the PRO Act

Recent polling from Data for Progress/Vox shows that 59% of likely voters support the Protecting the Right to Organize (PRO) Act. With that said, far fewer understand what the legislation actually does. In this article, we will attempt to break it down.

The PRO Act is a generational opportunity to increase worker power, rebuild our economy fairly, and grow America’s labor movement. It is the highest priority for our movement during the 117th Congress, and it is the cornerstone of the AFL-CIOs Workers First Agenda.

BACKGROUND

The PRO Act passed in the U.S. House of Representatives on March 9th and is currently stalled in the Senate. In late March, Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer announced that he would bring the bill to the floor for a vote once it had received at least 50 co-sponsors. It currently has 47 co-sponsors, including Independents Bernie Sanders of Vermont and Angus King of Maine, and the entire Democratic Caucus less Arizona Senators Mark Kelly and Krysten Sinema, and Virginia Senator Mark Warner.

KEY POINTS

The PRO Act protects the right to join a union by:

  1. Deterring and Punishing Violations of Workers’ Rights
  2. Strengthening workers’ right to stand together and negotiate for better working conditions.
  3. Restoring fairness to an economy that is rigged against workers.

1. Deterring and Punishing Violations of Workers’ Rights

  • Authorizes meaningful penalties for employers that violate workers’ rights.
  • Strengthens support for workers who suffer retaliation for exercising their rights.
  • Authorizes a private right of action for violations of workers’ rights.
  • Prevents employers from interfering in union elections.

2. Strengthening Workers’ Right to Join Together and Negotiate for Better Working Conditions

  • Enhances workers’ right to support boycotts, strikes, or other acts of solidarity.
  • Safeguards workers’ access to justice.
  • Ensures unions can collect “fair share” fees.
  • Facilitates initial collective bargaining agreements.

3. Restoring Fairness to an Economy that is Rigged Against Workers

  • Closes loopholes in the federal labor laws.
  • Increases transparency in labor-management relations.

TAKING ACTION FOR THE PRO ACT

There are many ways to help organized labor promote the PRO Act.

LIGHT LIFTS

Action #1: Sign the Petition https://proact.aflcio.org/actions/sign-the-petition-to-support-workers-and-democracy/

Action #2: Talk About the PRO Act on Social Media

MEDIUM LIFTS

Action #3: Send a Letter or Form Letter to Your Senator

Action #4: Call your Senator

HEAVIER LIFTS

Action #5: Send a Letter to the Editor

  • Send a letter to your local newspaper using the talking points in this article. Email [email protected] for help.