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Tell Your Senator to Pass the PRO Act

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Jul 22, 2021

Most American workers want to join a union but can’t. The PRO Act will help fix that.

Nearly 60 percent of American workers would join a union if they had the opportunity to do so. American workers almost universally support pensions that provide a secure income after retirement. Yet, the percentage of Americans with an actual, defined benefit pension is as low as 17%. Meanwhile, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, fully 79% of union members do. Union wages and overall compensation for workers in the trades are on par with white-collar jobs that require a bachelor’s degree. Finally, union workers can only be fired for “Just Cause,” meaning that if they show up to work and do their jobs well – they can count on staying employed. Non-union workers, on the other hand, can be fired at any time for any reason. A majority of workers do not want to be fired capriciously.  

So, if the pensions, pay, and job protections that unions (and only unions) can bring are so popular, why is union membership less than 11% of the workforce? Vast majorities of Americans want a pension. Vast majorities want union wages. Vast majorities want their jobs protected by a legally binding contract that they helped negotiate, could vote for, and directly enforce. And vast majorities of American workers have none of these things. What gives?

The answer is obvious. Huge majorities of workers may want to join a union, but they can’t. The PRO Act will allow those who wish to join a union workplace the opportunity to do so. 

The PRO Act will accomplish this, in part, by allowing workers to vote for a union and have their employer recognize that union through a much simpler process. Currently, employees who want to join a union must vote at least twice, and some must vote to join a union over and over again. To make matters worse, the same voters may need to vote by phone one time, by petition another. The rules are different each time, and there are no consequences for employers who illegally interfere with this already fragile process. 

Although the PRO Act applies to the National Labor Relations Act, the changes made will help workers in many industries organize. All workers  – even in the airline industry, are supporting this very important legislation.  (Airline workers fall under the Railway Labor Act which is outside the scope of the NLRA.)

The PRO Act will also protect workers who ask to join a union by bringing accountability to employers who break the law. Current laws do not provide meaningful penalties to employers that violate the rights of their workers and ignore the law.

The PRO Act will end “Right to Work” laws, which seek to bankrupt unions by forcing them to provide services, work, and marketable skills to non-paying consumers for free. The PRO Act will also prevent union members from being forced to pay for political activities they do not support.

 Put simply, existing labor laws are outdated and easily gamed. The PRO Act will modernize American labor law and allow union membership to those who want it, a large majority of workers. 

Union organizing once created the wealthiest and largest middle class that had ever existed. This middle class was union made, right here in the USA. That was no accident. Unions are people that care about the work they do and do it better than anyone else. Unfortunately, since then, anti-worker laws have been written with help from companies whose only goal was to exploit their workforces. These laws did their job and did it well. These corrupt laws have strangled the once-mighty American workforce into a complacent, disposable, and perpetually intimidated group of separated individuals. 

The PRO Act is the most critical labor legislation since the Great Depression. It is a vital part of how our nation will (or will not) rebuild following the Pandemic and nearly a century of neglect.  

The PRO Act is now in the hands of your Senator. Get in touch with them today and tell them how vital American workers are. 

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