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Bill In Congress Targets Intimidation Of Unionizing Workers

Published Thursday, January 16, 2020
by The Public News Service
Bill In Congress Targets Intimidation Of Unionizing Workers

(WASHINGTON, D.C.) - The U.S. House has committed to voting on a comprehensive Bill supporting Union Organizing before Presidents' Day.

The announcement comes after 68 representatives, including Suzanne Bonamici (Democrat-Oregon) sent a letter to the House Leadership urging the lawmakers to bring the Protecting the Right to Organize (PRO) Act to the floor.

The Bill contains a suite of reforms, including the elimination of Right-To-Work (for less) Laws, rules prohibiting employers from delaying the negotiation of Collective Bargaining Contracts and penalties for retaliating against Union Organizing.

"It is ‘commonplace’ in Private Sector Union Organizing, in (the state of) Oregon and across the country, that Workers ‘are intimidated - they're scared,’" says Graham Trainor, who serves as President of the Oregon AFL-CIO. "Employers use ‘mandatory one-on-one’ meetings to ‘intimidate’ Workers from joining a Union ‘and it really stacks the deck against the group of Workers who want to see change.’"

The PRO Act has 218 co-sponsors, with every Democratic Party House member in Oregon signing on except for U.S. Representative Kurt Schrader.

While the bill's chances are good in the House, it's considered dead on arrival in the Senate.

However, Trainor says it's still important for the House to vote on it.

"I ‘recognize the political hurdles and challenges of (the) bill and with Congress and the (Republican Trump) Administration, but that's not to say that this isn't a multi-year strategy,’" he states. "That's ‘not to say that this shouldn't continue to be an issue that we press lawmakers to tackle in a really serious way over the coming years.’"

Trainor sees Unions rising across the country, especially among young people.

In 2017, more than three-quarters of new Members were younger than 35.

And a 2018 poll by the Pew Research Center found nearly 70% of people ages 18 to 29 have a favorable view of Unions.

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