What is the PRO Act?
How we got here
For decades working people have seen their income stagnate and their benefits erode while CEOs and Wall Street banks become richer and more powerful. The pandemic has only made matters worse. Over the past year, U.S. billionaires saw their net worth increase by more than $1 trillion, while millions of workers lost their jobs and millions more were required to risk their lives and continue to work without paid sick days, quality healthcare, or even PPE to keep them safe.
There’s a reason for this: Power.
During the Great Depression in the 1930s, workers came together to demand fair pay and protection from employer abuse. They passed laws -- like the minimum wage and child labor laws -- and they formed unions. Workers’ standard of living grew and the American middle class was born. But for the past half-century, giant corporations and their lobbyists worked furiously to erode those protections and make it harder for workers to come together, join unions, and demand respect.
Until workers have the power to demand fairness and hold corporations accountable our standard of living will continue to erode and the economy will become more and more unequal.
That’s why we need the PRO (Protect the Right to Organize) Act
The PRO Act will help put power back in the hands of workers, protect workplace democracy, and hold corporations accountable when they cheat or abuse their workers. Some of the bill’s key provisions include:
- Making it easier for workers to organize a union and have a voice on the job by prohibiting employer intimidation like mandatory meetings to threaten workers who want to come together to demand better pay and working conditions.
- Increasing penalties for employers who violate workers’ rights, including making corporate officials personally liable for violations and giving employees the right to sue when their rights at work are violated.
- Prohibiting employers from misclassifying workers as independent contractors, a common tactic corporations use to avoid providing benefits and basic workplace protections to their workers.
- Effectively overturning state so called “Right to Work” laws that weaken unions.
Can it pass?
In his first joint address to Congress, President Biden called on members of Congress to pass the PRO Act. The House of Representatives already passed it with bi-partisan support. In the Senate the bill has nearly 50 co-sponsors already. Corporate lobbyists will do everything possible to stop this legislation from reaching President Biden’s. We need your help to make sure this critical piece of legislation becomes law.