This week the U.S. House of Representatives passed H.R. 2474, Protecting the Right to Organize Act (PRO Act). This is the most significant and advancing piece of Labor Law Reform legislation to move in decades. The PRO Act would:
Repeal right to work laws;
Provide for first contract arbitration;
Speed up elections;
Stronger remedies for violations, including civil penalties (up to $50k)
Ban permanent replacement of strikers;
Permit secondary picketing;
Card Check as a remedy for employer interference;
Ban Captive Audience meetings; and,
Narrow the definition of supervisor and close the independent contractor loophole.
The PRO Act would have a significant impact on workers across our Commonwealth. Workers like our union brothers and sisters at Langeloth Metallurgical. On
For generations, the workers at Langeloth Metallurgical have done dangerous and difficult jobs to process molybdenum and strengthen American steel. These men and women have been on strike since September 9 for the most fundamental right of every worker, the right to be safe on the job. But on January 6, the company brought in permanent replacement workers. The PRO Act would ban permanent replacement workers.
This is an exciting time in the labor movement as more and more workers exercise their voice at work and want to join a union. The PRO Act in the Federal government and the Pennsylvania Workers’ Bill of Rights in our own state government are just two examples of Labor’s fight for working people.
National AFL-CIO President Richard Trumka made the following comments on the PRO Act’s passage:
I applaud the U.S. House for passing the PRO Act. Make no mistake, this is the most significant step Congress has taken to strengthen labor laws in the United States in 85 years and a win for workers everywhere.
America’s labor laws are no longer an effective means for working people to have our voices heard. The long-overdue PRO Act will provide significant protections for workers exercising our legal right to form a union, a right that’s been trampled on for decades by union-busting consultants and anti-worker politicians.
The PRO Act is the labor movement’s number one legislative priority this year for a reason. Working people are hungry for a bill that will ensure a process for reaching a first contract once a union is recognized, prevent the misclassification of employees, protect the right to strike and so much else. America is ready for more unions; and a happier, healthier and upwardly mobile workforce will help reverse the inequality of income, opportunity and power that is threatening our families, our communities and our democracy.
This bill is for working people—and President Trump’s veto threat, though replete with inaccuracies and distortions, speaks volumes about who he is really fighting for. But our movement is bigger than any party or politician, and we will not rest until the PRO Act is the law of the land and the rights of workers are restored!