Update on PRO Act - H.R. 842 – Protecting the Right to Organize Act

This summary updates information shared about HR2474 introduced in May 2019.  That bill passed the house in February 2020 and was referred to the Senate.  There was no action by the Senate.

Update on PRO Act - H.R. 842 – Protecting the Right to Organize Act

This summary updates information shared about HR2474 introduced in May 2019.  That bill passed the house in February 2020 and was referred to the Senate.  There was no action by the Senate.

After not moving through 116th Congress in 2020, H. R. 842 was introduced on February 4, 2021.   H.R. 842 passed the House with a vote of 225 – 206, with 5 Republicans voting in favor of the bill.  The bill was received by the Senate on March 11, read twice and referred to the Committee on Health, Education, Labor and Pensions. 

If passed, the PRO Act would:

  • Destroy 27 states’ right-to-work laws, which give workers the freedom to choose whether or not to pay union dues at private companies. (People who work in the public sector already have the freedom not to join unions or pay union dues, thanks to Janus v. AFSCME.)
  • Overrule state law. Many right-to-work states have enshrined the law in their state constitutions – but in a vigorous assault on federalism, the PRO Act would simply overrule state law.
  • Wipe out the income of millions of American workers who choose to freelance or work as independent contractors. The PRO Act would impose the California-style “ABC Test” nationally, making it almost impossible for many workers to qualify as independent contractors (ICs).
  • Contradict the will of the vast majority of freelancers and “gig” economy workers. Despite the flexibility of freelancing, and despite the fact that nearly 80% of ICs prefer their situation to full-time regular employment, the PRO Act would eliminate or significantly limit their options.
  • Provide new openings for harassment and intimidation from union leaders. The PRO Act would force employers to hand over employees’ contact information, including their home addresses and cell phone numbers, to unions. Union leaders already have extensive leeway in communicating with employees; the PRO Act would allow them to move their tactics to employees’ homes.
  • Repeal the ban on secondary boycotts, allowing unions to harass any company that does business with a company where a union is trying to organize. The PRO Act would expand pickets, boycotts, and harassment against a new universe of companies that are only tangentially associated with the union’s target.
  • Stack the deck against employers and employees in favor of unions. The PRO Act would limit conversations between unions and employers, stifle education opportunities, and prevent employers from challenging union practices.
  • Eliminate the secret ballot in union representation voting

The PRO Act would disempower individual workers and disrupt employer-employee relationships, while giving outsized influence to labor unions. The economic impacts are real: the PRO Act would cost employers up to $12 billion

House Republicans proposed several amendments designed to limit the scope and implementation of the bill.  They were defeated on party lines.  Amendment #52 offered by local Rep. Virginia Foxx clearly illustrates that the Democrats agenda knows no limits.  It required “unions that have had at least one president or vice president convicted of a felony related to financial malfeasance with respect to the union within the past three years to file more detailed financial disclosures with the Department of Labor's Office of Labor-Management Standards.”  Reread that.  Notice it did not say convicted felons could not serve as president or vice-president of a union.  It said if the union president or vice-president were convicted of a financial related felony within 3 years, the union’s book should receive greater scrutiny.  That amendment (like all those submitted by Republicans) was defeated along party lines.

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  • Amanda Mercer
    published this page in Blog 2021-03-28 20:38:40 -0400