On Thursday night, after hours of debate, the Democrat-controlled House of Representatives passed the “PRO Act,” a bill to benefit unions and drastically alter the landscape for employers and workers.
WASHINGTON, D.C.—On Thursday night, after hours of debate, the Democrat-controlled U.S. House of Representatives passed H.R. 2474, the Protecting the Right to Organize (or “PRO”) Act.
The vote follows months of lobbying by unions, which included last-minute implied threats from AFL-CIO President Trumka.
The votes were largely along party line votes 224 to 194, with 12 Congresspeople not voting. Five Republicans voted ‘aye’ to the bill, while seven Democrats voted ‘no.’
While it is unlikely that Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell [R-KY] will bring the PRO Act up for a vote in the Senate, if he were to, it would almost certainly fail there.
If, as Democrats and unions hope, the PRO Act (read the bill’s full text) eventually passes, it would amend the National Labor Relations Act, the Labor Management Relations Act, 1947, and the Labor-Management Reporting and Disclosure Act of 1959 in one fell swoop—all to the advantage of unions.
If enacted, the PRO Act is estimated to cost the U.S. economy $47 billion—not counting for the job losses it would likely cause.
Here are some of the highlights:
Eliminates ALL State Right-To-Work Laws
There are currently 27 states that allow unionized workers the option of paying union fees or not. Under the PRO Act, all unionized workers in ALL 50 states could be forced to pay union fees or be fired from their jobs.
Forces Employers and Workers Into Union Contracts
Within 120 days of a union becoming certified, if there is no contract reached, the PRO Act requires mandatory arbitration wherein a government-appointed arbitrator determines what an employer will pay (wages and benefits) to its workers, depriving employers—and their employees—of the right to self determination. If an employer cannot afford a government-mandated contract, it will go out of business. If the business survives, but its workers do not like the government-dictated contract, their only option will be to quit.
Federalizes California’s “ABC Test” For Freelancers and Independent Contractors
In January, California’s “AB5′ law went into effect, forcing companies to add “freelancers” or independent contractors to their payrolls as “employees.” Despite being stopped in court (for now), AB5 is already killing thousands of ‘gigs’ for freelancers, the “PRO Act” would make this the national standard.
There are more components to the legislation which also drastically alter the labor relations landscape (view here)
Thread: If you want to know why unions need a union bailout like the #PROAct, here's a couple of charts…
Unions kill jobs.
— LUR™️ (@WorkPlaceRpt) February 7, 2020
Although the PRO Act is, for all practical purposes, ‘dead’ between now and the November elections, depending on election outcomes in the Senate and for the Presidency election, it may be back in early 2021.
With the exception of Sen. Bernie Sanders—who has a similar plan—all of the Democrat senators running for President are listed as co-sponsors of the PRO Act.
For more information about the PRO Act, including the latest media, go to PROActFacts.org.