House Passes the PRO Act

The House passed the Protect The Right To Organize (Pro) Act, the most wide-ranging, pro-worker rewrite of labor law since the original National Labor Relations Act of 1935. . 

In a statement the Economic Policy Institute explained that

The PRO Act helps restore workers’ right to join together to bargain for better wages and working conditions by streamlining the process when workers form a union, ensuring that they are successful in negotiating the first agreement, and holding employers accountable when they violate labor law.

The PRO Act also helps advance racial economic justice because unions and collective bargaining help shrink the Black–white wage gap and bring greater fairness to the workplace. This legislation finally helps bring U.S. labor law into the 21st century—giving working people more power to counteract rising corporate power and inequality and helping create a just economy as our nation builds out of the pandemic. The Senate should pass the PRO Act immediately and ensure that all workers have a voice on the job.

The Senate will be a heavier lift unless Democrats do away with or evade the filibuster.

Five Republicans joined all but one Democrat in backing the Pro Act, HR842.

Following the vote, the BlueGreen Alliance released a statement from Executive Director Jason Walsh:

We cannot tackle systematic racial and economic injustice and build a clean, thriving, and equitable economy without strong unions. The PRO Act ensures workers have a fair shot to band together and collectively bargain for better wages and benefits, safer workplaces, a cleaner environment, and a better future. We urge quick passage of this important bill in the Senate.

Minnesota AFL-CIO President Bill McCarthy issued the following statement on the US House’s 220 to 205 passage of the Protecting the Right to Organizing (PRO) Act:

The US House of Representatives just took a major step toward leveling the playing field for working people by passing the PRO Act.

Today’s vote was an opportunity for members of Minnesota’s Congressional Delegation to unequivocally show whether they stand with the working people of our state. We thank Representatives Craig, McCollum, Omar, and Phillips for their support in passing legislation that will remove the barriers workers face to joining together in unions to negotiate a fair return on their work. We’re also deeply disappointed with Representatives Emmer, Fischbach, Hagedorn, and Stauber for siding with the large corporate interests who are opposing the PRO Act.

Filiberto Nolasco Gomez is a former union organizer and former editor of Minneapolis based Workday Minnesota, the first online labor news publication in the state. Filiberto focused on longform and investigative journalism. He has covered topics including prison labor, labor trafficking, and union fights in the Twin Cities.

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