PRO Act Crucial Tool for Defending Workers’ Rights
U.S. Representatives Bobby Scott (D-VA) and Brian Fitzpatrick (R-PA) and Senator Bernie Sanders (I-VT), Chairman of the U.S. Senate Committee on Health, Education, Labor and Pensions, today introduced the Richard L. Trumka Protecting the Right to Organize (PRO) Act. The PRO Act is designed to ensure workers can band together to negotiate better wages and safer working conditions by ending prohibitions on collective and class action litigation; prohibiting employers from permanently replacing striking employees; and ends the misclassification of workers as independent contractors. In addition, it would strengthen remedies and enforcement for employees who are exercising their rights; create a mediation and arbitration process for new unions; hold employers accountable for labor law violations; protect against captive audience meetings; and streamline National Labor Relations Board procedures. Furthermore, the PRO Act would help prevent the outsourcing of jobs and encourage the growth of union membership in traditionally marginalized communities.
Following the introduction, the BlueGreen Alliance released a statement from Executive Director Jason Walsh:
“As attempts to weaken unions and collective bargaining rights grow bolder and more reprehensible, little has been done to hold those responsible accountable. When unions are strong, local economies prosper, workers are safer and healthier, and our environment is safeguarded. We cannot tackle systematic racial and economic injustice and build a clean, thriving, and equitable economy without strong unions. We urge quick passage of this important bill.”