On Thursday, February 6 The House approved the Protecting the Right to Organize Act (PRO Act). The vote of 224-194 fell primarily along party lines. Supporters of the “PRO Act” claim the bill makes it “easier for workers to certify unions, change how employers classify workers, prevent workers from being denied rights because of immigration status, eliminate state right-to-work laws and block laws that protect employees from not paying union dues, among other measures.” However, GCCA has significant concerns that the legislation would:
- strip away workers’ free choice in union elections as well as their privacy rights;
- codify into law the NLRB’s controversial Browning-Ferris Industries joint-employer standard that has threatened our country’s small and local businesses;
- curb opportunities for people to work independently through gig economy platforms or more traditional independent contractor roles;
- eliminate Right-to-Work protections for workers across the country, including in the twenty-seven states that have passed Right-to-Work laws;
- interfere with attorney-client confidentiality and make it harder for businesses, particularly small businesses, to secure legal advice on complex labor law matters;
- prohibit arbitration agreements in employment contracts;
- infringe on the due process rights of employers; and
- strip away “secondary boycott” protections that prevent unions from using their anti-trust exemptions and immunity from certain state laws to target businesses for anti-competitive purposes other than organizing.
The Global Cold Chain Alliance (GCCA), has joined with partners such as the Coalition for a Democratic Workforce to oppose the legislation, including sending letters urging Congress to reject the bill. While it is unlikely that the Senate will take up the bill, GCCA will continue to work with coalition partners to oppose the legislation.