Politics

House passes ‘Protect the Right to Organize Act,’ a major labor reform initiative

The ‘Protect the Right to Organize Act’ was passed by the House with a vote of 225-206. Known as the PRO Act, the bill provides unprecedented support for workers’ rights and their capacity to unionize.

The last major labor reform in America occurred in the 1930s. Last year, a similar bill was passed by the House, but strongly opposed by the Republican-controlled Senate. Now, even with a split Senate, Republicans have the ability to filibuster the bill, as many politicians and businesses dislike the legislation. Concerning the reintroduction of the PRO Act, the US Chamber of Commerce stated, “The legislation, which claims to be pro-worker, would force employees to pay union dues regardless of whether they support a union, threaten private ballots in union elections, and strip workers of their independent contractor classification.”

They go on to say, “While claiming to be pro-worker, we firmly believe today’s legislation is a grab-bag of harmful policies that would deprive millions of workers of their privacy and fundamentally alter our nation’s system of labor relations.” During campaign efforts, Biden stressed the vitality of labor reform, ensuring the topic would be one of his administration’s biggest priorities when in office. Within a White House Statement from the President, Biden said, “As America works to recover from the devastating challenges of deadly pandemic, an economic crisis, and reckoning on race that reveals deep disparities, we need to summon a new wave of worker power to create an economy that works for everyone.”

Biden goes on to state that unions support the middle class, which is the backbone of America. The PRO Act will embolden employees, improve livelihoods, and strengthen the economy. Mobilizing workers through unionization provides them with the opportunity to further develop union groups, to strike for increased wages and improved working conditions, and allow the National Labor Relations Board to fine bosses who violate workers’ rights. The PRO Act will now move forward to the Senate, where it has the potential to face an evenly split vote.

ARTICLE: ANTOINETTE AHO

POLITICS EDITOR: CARSON CHOATE

PHOTO CREDITS: THE NEW YORK TIMES

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