House Passes PRO Act, Bill Enshrining Right For Workers To Organize
In one of the strongest pro-worker legislative bills in modern history, the House of Representatives passed the Protecting the Right to Organize Act (PRO Act) in a 225-206 vote, swaying five Republicans to the pro-worker cause. The bill could reach the Senate floor as soon as next week.
“The PRO Act would protect and empower workers to exercise our freedom to organize a bargain,” Richard Trumka, president of the American Federation of Labor and Congress of Industrial Organizations (AFL-CIO), told NPR in March. “It’s a game changer. If you really want to correct inequality in this country — wages and wealth inequality, opportunity and inequality of power — passing the PRO Act is absolutely essential to doing that.”
The PRO Act bans mandatory union-busting meetings, a tactic regularly used by companies. The act also gives new unions more robust avenues for arbitration and mediation when settling contracts with management. The act also prevents employers from discriminating during hiring based on a person’s immigration status. Companies or management found in violation of workers’ rights can be subject to massive fines, and corporate directors will more often be cited as liable.
The PRO Act comes days after President Joe Biden spoke in support of Amazon warehouse workers’ efforts to unionize.
Biden spoke in further support of the PRO Act Tuesday saying, “Nearly 60 million Americans would join a union if they get a chance, but too many employers and states prevent them from doing so through anti-union attacks. They know that without unions, they can run the table on workers — union and non-union alike.”