This new bill could put jobs on the chopping block while strengthening the power of unions. Joe Biden has promised that he would be the “most pro-union president,” and his website states that he strongly supports the radical, pro-union Protecting the Right to Organize (PRO) Act. But it’s not a right to organize. It’s forcing people to join a union in right to work states and gives the unions access to your personal information whether you like it or not. Fittingly, the  PRO Act is pushed by the Democratic Socialists of America, the Socialist-supporting head of the AFL-CIO Richard Trumka, and the extreme leftist Democratic Party of Nancy Pelosi, Chuck Schumer, and Kamala Harris.

Labor unions and socialist groups are whipping up support for a Democratic bill that would crush right-to-work laws in 27 states and that critics say mirrors a controversial state law that imperiled thousands of jobs in California…

…The PRO Act also includes a provision similar to the controversial Assembly Bill 5 that gutted California’s gig economy when it was enacted by the state government last year…

…The PRO Act would overhaul the National Labor Relations Act (NLRA), aiming to end states’ authority to have right-to-work laws and preventing companies from replacing striking employees, among other major changes.

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Right-to-work laws are popular in conservative states as they guarantee an employee’s right to not join a labor union if they so choose and prevent union dues payments from being a requirement for employment. Twenty-seven states in the union, such as Texas and Wisconsin, have right-to-work laws, which have often been in the sights of labor unions and progressive groups.

On March 9, the bill passed 225-206 in the House, mostly along party lines.

President Biden then issued a statement in strong support for the PRO Act urging Congress to send it to his desk so he can sign it into law.

The PRO Act has very vocal support from labor unions and socialists.

The American Federation of Labor and Congress of Industrial Organizations (AFL-CIO) is urging support for the bill:

The Democratic Socialists of America launched a national campaign promoting it on Sunday:

The bill was first written in 2019, but H.R. 842 has some nasty little provisions that are additionally harmful to workers.

According to the National Law Review:

The PRO Act would be the most significant piece of labor legislation since National Labor Relations Act of 1935, overhauling much of the current labor law. If passed, the law would ban right-to-work laws that prohibit employers and unions from requiring employees to join a union as a condition of employment; ban employers from permanently replacing strikers; implement stricter tests for determining an individual’s status as an independent contractor versus employee; and impose new civil penalties on employers for violations, including personal liability, amongst other dramatic changes.

Is this a good time to start screwing around with labor law, anyway? Small and medium-sized businesses have been devastated by government-imposed shut-downs for the last year.

One of the most disturbing aspects of the PRO Act is the legislation would import into the California Supreme Court’s recently adopted and failed “ABC test” into National Labor Relations Act (NLRA) to determine whether a worker is an employee or an independent contractor. The ABC test makes it very difficult to qualify as an independent contractor, which will result in many workers losing independent contractor status and the freedom and flexibility that comes with it such as determining their own hours, what work they choose to do, and how they perform that work. This is at odds with what independent contractors actually want especially those in the gig economy where many choose independent work because of the flexibility and autonomy it offers.

If the economic impacts weren’t scary enough, the PRO Act would enable labor organizers to deploy intimidation and threatening tactics against workers by forcing employers to hand over personal contact information of all employees, even for those who have no interest in joining a union – putting employees at increased risk of harassment, stalking and even bullying on social media.

Rather than safeguarding the secret ballot and protecting workers in labor elections, the PRO Act would mandate that employees sign union authorization cards in the presence of their coworkers and union organizers. By taking away employees’ right to act free from interference, the PRO Act would infringe on individual privacy protections and force millions of workers across the nation into joining unions against their will.

Additionally, the PRO Act would interfere with attorney-client confidentiality, making it more difficult for businesses to secure legal advice on complex labor law matters, and it would prohibit arbitration agreements in employment contracts. It would also remove “secondary boycott” protections that prevent union bosses from using their anti-trust exemptions and immunity from certain state laws to target businesses for anti-competitive purposes other than organizing.

Freelancers, independent contractors, and gig workers are very concerned about the PRO Act’s passage because the “ABC test” that would be codified nationally would reclassify them as an employee and force them to join a union.

Similar legislation in California had to be scaled back because it killed jobs in the gig economy.

The stated goal of the bill is to unionize workers, and to require employers to hire part-time, contract or freelance workers as full-time employees in order to provide them with a range of benefits they may not otherwise have.

“A sizable share of workers in the United States remain outside the traditional employment structure and consequently lack many of the protections and benefits that come with being a traditional employee,” the Brookings Institution reports. Proponents of the bill argue freelancers should be required to become full-time employees who receive benefits such as health insurance and paid vacation.

But according to a new survey of freelance writers, the majority don’t want to be a full-time employee of a company – they value their independence. Among those surveyed, 75 percent said being a freelancer is “very important” to them; 73 percent said they’d rather be a contractor than an employee.

This bill is now going to the evenly-split Senate, and it’s going to be a helluva fight.

Americans for Prosperity is opposed to the PRO Act and issued a statement.

Today, AFP issued a Key Vote Alert to Congress and RealClearMarkets published an op-ed by Beth Anne Mumford, Regional Director of AFP, on her prior experience as an independent contractor and how the PRO Act would make it more difficult for an independent contractor to earn a living. AFP and more than 20 organizations also sent a letter to Congress urging lawmakers to reject the PRO Act.

AFP believes workers should have the ability to choose who they associate with and who speaks on their behalf. The PRO Act would undermine the choice and dignity of individual workers while granting unequal privileges to labor unions. These policies would subvert worker freedom and create new barriers to economic opportunity.

Making matters worse, the PRO Act would reclassify many independent contractors as employees under the National Labor Relations Act, subjecting them to unionization and a loss of independent status. The United States had over 15.5 million people earning their primary income as independent contractors, about 10 percent of the country’s workforce. Even more earned some income as independent contractors among the 59 million people who did freelance work in the last year. Eliminating most forms of independent contracting, gig work, and freelancing would be contrary to the wishes of over three-quarters of those workers, who say they enjoy the freedom, flexibility, and opportunity that come with their work.

Fresh off their victory in the Pork-a-looza Covid bill, the Democrats must be licking their chops, getting ready for their next socialist move.  The pro-act doesn’t give unions “freedom to organize,” it takes away workers’ freedom, drives up costs for businesses by slanting the playing field against business, leading to increasing unemployment and hurting the economy.

Cross Posted With Clash Daily