Members of the Congressional House Committee on Education and Labor held a hearing last week to introduce comprehensive legislation to strengthen protections for workers’ right to organize a union and bargain for higher wages, better benefits, and safer working conditions. This legislation is known as the Protecting the Right to Organize (PRO) Act. The PRO Act was introduced with 100 House cosponsors, and 40 Senate cosponsors.
Specifically, the PRO Act would:
- Establish penalties on predatory corporations that violate workers’ rights, and combat misclassification of workers as supervisors and independent contractors.
- Strengthen workers’ right to strike for basic workplace improvements, including higher wages and better working conditions.
- Create a mediation and arbitration process to ensure corporations and newly formed unions reach a first contract.
- Authorize unions and employers to negotiate agreements that allow unions to collect fair-share fees that cover the costs of representation.
- Streamline the National Labor Relation Board’s (NLRB) procedures to secure worker freedoms and effectively prevent violations.
- Protect the integrity of union elections against coercive captive audience meetings.
“The PRO Act is long overdue,” said Machinists Union International President Robert Martinez Jr. “If this legislation was in place today, it would help IAM campaigns like the current IAM Delta campaign, IAM members at Boeing South Carolina, Precision Castparts, and so many others. I commend the sponsors for advocating for worker freedom and strengthing our labor laws.”
— Machinists Union (@MachinistsUnion) May 8, 2019