Bosses have been attacking our labor rights for decades. Our politicians have done little to protect us from these attacks. The Protecting the Right to Organize Act, or PRO Act, is a labor law reform bill that passed in the House last February. This bill protects our right to organize, gives power to workers, and strengthens the existing National Labor Relations Act.
Spearheaded by the International Union of Painters and Allied Trades (IUPAT), the PRO Act would be the first national labor law reform in nearly a century to expand the rights of workers. The stakes have never been higher, and we must act now to pressure President Biden and the Senate to Pass the PRO Act!
What does the Protecting the Right to Organize (PRO) Act do?
The PRO Act will reverse years of anti-worker legislation and provide an opportunity for us to put up a political fight for our rights as workers. It will undo some of the damage caused by the decades-long onslaught of anti-worker law and rhetoric, including reversing infamous Right to Work laws.
Concretely, the act makes it harder for employers to union bust, increases protections for strikers, and opens up possibilities for collective bargaining in the gig economy.
What does the PRO Act mean for workers?
Fights against union busting
When workers are forming unions, employers will use every trick at their disposal to attack this effort. These tricks include forcing workers to attend anti-union meetings, interfering in union elections, and other forms of union busting campaigns. The PRO Act will prohibit forced attendance to these captive-audience meetings and increase penalties for bosses who interfere with union drives.
The PRO Act also prohibits the permanent replacement of striking workers — meaning that you are protected when you go on strike!
Supports striking in solidarity
The PRO Act will shift power to workers by increasing protections for collective actions. Workers will be able to go on strike in solidarity with workers from other workplaces through “secondary strikes.” This will boost the power of workers by adding another layer of pressure to the bosses.
Going on strike is the most powerful tool workers have to make changes at work. The PRO Act also more generally protects workers who engage in peaceful protest actions with their fellow workers.
Imagine how much stronger a strike becomes when other workers in the community can join them!
Allows gig workers to organize
Currently, most gig workers, like rideshare drivers and app-based delivery workers are classified as “independent contractors,” which prevents them from being protected by the National Labor Relations Act. The PRO Act would give some gig workers the ability to collectively bargain and organize.
How can I help?
During the pandemic, essential workers on the frontlines have been forced to work with little to no hazard pay or personal protective equipment. Our politicians’ inability to pass meaningful protection for workers has created needless suffering for millions of people. There has never been more urgency to pass meaningful reform to enhance workers rights to organize than this pandemic.
During his campaign, Joe Biden promised to be “the most pro-union president you’ve ever seen.” We now have a chance to ensure he delivers on that promise by pressuring his administration to pass the PRO Act. For decades, politicians have given us false promises. We now have the chance to get them to go on the record and fight for us this session.