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The PRO Act ‘Would Rebuild’ The Labor Movement

Published Thursday, July 15, 2021
by USW News
The PRO Act ‘Would Rebuild’ The Labor Movement

(WASHINGTON, D.C.) - A new President and Democratic majorities in both houses of Congress have given new life to a Bill that would restore Union Rights and level the playing field for Workers more than any time since the New Deal reforms that followed the Great Depression.

The Protecting the Right to Organize (PRO) Act would mean better wages, benefits and working conditions for all Workers as many more Americans would have a fair shot at joining a Union.

The Bill would remove unnecessary barriers to joining Unions and would establish meaningful penalties against employers who illegally try to bully and intimidate Workers into halting Unionization efforts.

The U.S. House passed the legislation in February in a bipartisan vote.

It faces a tougher battle in the U.S. Senate, where Republicans continue to employ the filibuster to thwart much of the majority’s Pro-Worker agenda. 

 “For too long, corporations and their political cronies have been chipping away at Workers’ Rights, making it harder for them to band together,” United Steelworkers (USW) International President Tom Conway.

“The PRO Act is a much-needed corrective to this assault on Workers’ power.  It will pave the way for American Workers to better advocate for themselves and their families,” he said.

The legislation also would set realistic deadlines for companies and Union Members to bargain first contracts following successful Organizing Drives.

Under current rules, companies often employ high-priced Union-Busting Lawyers to drag the process out for years in an attempt to frustrate Workers and stymie their efforts, even in cases where large majorities voted for representation.

In many cases, Workers who want a Union don’t even get to the point where they begin to negotiate because for decades Labor Laws have been written to favor Union-Busting employers rather than Workers.

Under current Labor Law, Union-Busting employers engage in such behavior regularly with little to no consequences.

The PRO Act would change that and usher in a new era of Union Organizing not seen in decades.

Polls show more than 60% of U.S. workers would join a Union - if given the choice.

Yet, Unions in 2020 only represented 10.8% of the American Workforce, a number that has fallen by roughly half over the past 40 years.

President Joe Biden, both on the campaign trail and now in the Oval Office, has promised to reverse that trend and restore the voice of Workers.

“The Middle Class built this country and Unions built the Middle Class,” Biden said in March. Unions, he said, “increase wages, improve the quality of jobs and protect job security, protect against racial and all other forms of discrimination and sexual harassment, and protect Workers’ health, safety and benefits in the workplace.”

“I urge Congress to send the PRO Act to my desk,” Biden said.

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