This evening the U.S. House of Representatives passed the Protecting the Right to Organize (PRO) Act by a vote of 225-206. The bill passed largely along party-lines with all but one House Democrat voting in favor, but also garnered bipartisan support with 5 House Republicans approving the measure.
In addition to passing the American Rescue Plan Act into law later this week, which will provide comprehensive COVID-19 relief to IATSE members and all Americans, House leadership has prioritized the most important legislative objective for working people this Congress – the PRO Act.
IATSE commends the House for passage of this landmark labor law reform and applauds those Representatives who stood with working people in support of this bill.
As we stated when Congress introduced the bill in early February, the PRO Act would be the most significant worker empowerment legislation passed since the Great Depression. It would help level the playing field in an economy pillaged by inequality and anti-worker legislation and would make the freedom to negotiate collectively a reality for 60 million American workers.
The PRO Act would:
–Establish a mediation process to help management and labor find common ground
–Give the National Labor Relations Board authority to order employers to negotiate in good faith with their workers and enforce penalties to prevent union-busting or deliberate misclassification by bad actors
–Eliminate the “right-to-work” (for less) laws of the Jim Crow Era that enable free riders
–Ban compulsory “captive audience meetings” and use of intimidation as a union-busting tactic
–Protect the right to strike and make it illegal for bosses to fire and replace workers who walk off the job to protest for better conditions
The passage of the PRO Act is an important step to rebuilding the American working class, not just from the policy failures of the last few decades, but also the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic. This crisis has shown the importance of having a voice in the workplace, and support for labor unions is at historic highs.
The IATSE urges the Senate to pass this bill and help us build an economy that works for all working families.