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House and Senate Reintroduce Protecting the Right to Organize (PRO) Act

House and Senate lawmakers have reintroduced legislation – Protecting the Right to Organize (PRO) Act (H.R. 842 and S. 420) that would restore protections under the National Labor Relations Act (NLRA) giving workers the right to organize and bargain for better wages, benefits and working conditions.

Specifically, the PRO Act would strengthen workers’ right to strike for basic workplace improvements, including higher wages and better working conditions; create a mediation and arbitration process to ensure corporations and newly formed unions reach a first contract; authorize unions and employers to negotiate agreements that allow unions to collect fair-share fees that cover the costs of representation; protect the integrity of union elections against coercive “captive audience” meetings. 

In addition, the PRO Act would streamline the National Labor Relation Board’s (NLRB) procedures to secure worker freedoms and effectively prevent violations by establishing penalties on corporations that violate workers’ rights and by combatting misclassification of workers as supervisors and independent contractors.

The legislation was introduced by Reps. Bobby Scott (D-VA) and 195 original cosponsors in the House and by Sen. Patty Murray (D-WA) and 44 original cosponsors in the Senate.

The introduction of this bill follows decades of stagnant wages for the majority of American workers, during which time working conditions declined and attacks on unions and workers’ rights by corporate special interests surged.

“Every American worker deserves the right to organize, bargain and stand together to demand better in the workplace,” said NALC President Rolando. “While NALC is an open shop with over 93 percent voluntary membership, we do not take that success in organizing for granted for one minute. NALC supports the PRO Act and encourages Democrats and Republicans alike to stand up for the American people by passing this legislation.”