On February 28, House Democrats reintroduced the Protecting the Right to Organize (PRO) Act (H.R.20). The bill is a wish list of radical labor policies that would infringe on workers and employers’ rights, diminish opportunities for entrepreneurs and small business owners, and devastate the economy.
The PRO Act is designed to push union representation on workers whether they want it or not. The bill does so by:
- Limiting the right of employees to vote for or against union representation via secret ballots;
- Limiting employers’ free speech rights, which effectively silences debate on the pros and cons of union representation generally or a particular union at issue;
- Effectively allowing unions to choose a bargaining unit that maximizes its chances of winning a representation election rather than having the NLRB choose a unit that would promote a functional and stable bargaining relationship and does not exclude from the proposed unit other employees that share similar working conditions, hours, benefits, or supervision simply because they are unlikely to support the union;
- Requiring employers to give union organizers employees’ personal information without approval from the employees themselves, including home addresses, phone numbers, email addresses, work shifts and locations, and job classifications; and
- Eliminating right-to-work protections across the country, including in the twenty-seven states whose populations and representatives voted for and implemented such laws. (Right-to-work laws allow workers to choose not to pay union dues to a labor organization whose policies and advocacy efforts do not align with their own beliefs and ensure workers can continue to work without being forced to join a union.)
The PRO Act would disrupt or destroy certain business operations and significantly limit opportunities for small businesses and entrepreneurs. The PRO Act would do this by limiting the circumstances under which an individual can work as an independent contractor and expanding joint employment liability, which would discourage companies from franchising or contracting with smaller employers.
NLBMDA members are encouraged to contact their elected officials and ask them to oppose the PRO Act (H.R.20).