Received this e-mail today from Democracy for America:
On March 9th the United States House of Representatives passed H.R.842, Protecting the Right to Organize Act of 2021, known as the PRO Act.
The PRO Act vastly expands labor protections related to employees' rights to organize and collectively bargain in the workplace.
Among other landmark changes, it:
- Gives workers and the National Labor Relations Board, not employers, control in the timing of union elections.
- Penalizes employers and corporate executives for illegally retaliating against workers trying to organize.
- Prohibits employers from permanently replacing workers when they strike.
During his recent joint address to Congress, President Biden called on Congress to pass the PRO Act and send it to his desk in support of the right to unionize.
This is the second year in a row that the PRO Act has passed the House, and now we have a President that supports it as well. Now, it is up to us to make sure it passes the Senate.
Right now, gig companies, such as Uber and Lyft, rely on a business model that exploits independent contractors.
Under current laws, workers at these gig companies do not have rights to unemployment insurance, worker’s compensation, or employer health benefits.
But the PRO Act makes more workers eligible to unionize, including these independent contractors.
That is why gig economy companies have already spent over $1 million dollars lobbying against the PRO Act.
They know that any legislation that makes it easier to form a union and win a contract, and harder for companies to union-bust, and easier for the National Labor Relations Board to crack down on rule-breaking companies is bad news for them.
The Pro-Act makes it easier for workers to unionize and makes it harder for companies to union-bust. Thank you for taking action in support of workers today.
Democracy for America
Rain or shine, there will be cake, and on Wednesday, huddling underneath umbrellas, the group of labor rights activists carried their latest to Sen. Mark R. Warner’s doorstep in Alexandria, Va.It was the kind of white sheet cake typically found at children’s birthday parties — the seventh they have delivered to Warner’s home on consecutive Wednesdays, each made by a union-member baker and decorated with a slogan urging Warner to co-sponsor the Protecting the Right to Organize Act.“Support the president,” the icing said, next to cutout pictures of Joe Biden. And then, partly quoting him: “Send me the PRO Act.”They knocked on Warner’s door three times around 8:15 a.m. No answer.So they set the cake on the doormat, then retreated back across the street with their signs — wondering what it would take to get the three-term Democratic senator to line up behind what they consider the most monumental piece of labor rights legislation in decades.“We have tried vanilla, we have tried chocolate. Someone has suggested an ice cream cake,” said Virginia Diamond, head of the Northern Virginia Labor Federation, the local arm of the AFL-CIO. “So we are not sure what it will take. But we have a friendly relationship with the senator . . . and we do believe that when he talks to people he respects, he will come around and understand what is at stake.”Warner, a former Virginia governor and business executive, is one of only three holdouts in the Senate Democratic caucus who have yet to co-sponsor the Pro Act, despite feverish lobbying by unions. The others are Arizona Sens. Mark Kelly and Kyrsten Sinema. Some labor groups have threatened to pull their support for those three Democrats unless they co-sponsor the bill, and Diamond said the Virginia AFL-CIO, which had long backed Warner, did not endorse him in his race against Republican Daniel Gade last year.