During last night’s address to a joint session of Congress, President Biden forcefully called on the assembled legislators to pass the Protect the Right to Organize Act, a bill that has already passed the House in March but has languished in the senate. But what is the PRO Act? And, in a speech dedicated to the wellbeing of families, why does it matter? Here’s what to know.
The AFL-CIO calls the PRO Act “the most significant worker empowerment legislation since the Great Depression.” The head of the SEIU said it’s a “critical step towards giving workers more power in our economy.” And the law’s opponents have been no less dramatic in their assessments.
The staunchly anti-labor U.S. Chamber of Commerce said the PRO Act “is a threat to America’s workers, employers, and our economy…a grab-bag of harmful policies that would deprive millions of workers of their privacy and fundamentally alter our nation’s system of labor relations.”
On that last point, everyone can agree: the PRO Act is a big deal, and, if it were to become law, it would be a massive boon for American families in their earning power, their ability to provide for their families, and their overall stability and wellbeing. Here’s what we know about how it could transform the world of American work—and what it all means for American families.
Here’s What the PRO Act Would Actually Do
summarybroadening the scope of individuals covered by existing fair labor standardsallowing unions to encourage their members to support secondary strikesend so-called right-to-work lawsprotect workers who participate in strikes from retaliation by their employeesprohibits employers from holding captive audience meetingsnot be allowed to retaliate against employees who blow the whistlemodernizing the procedures for union representation elections
What the PRO Act Would Mean
a shift in power away from capital and toward labor
especiallythe PRO Act would make it easier for employees to form unions and collectively bargain
Why Are Unions Good for Families?
Union workers earn higher wages,studyAmerican Journal of Public Health
Will the PRO Act pass?
The House has already voted on it during this Congress, but in the Senate, it only has the support of 47 senatorsmassive ad buysten Republicans would have to break ranks and support the bill to defeat a filibustertry to pass parts of the PRO Act through budget reconciliationeliminate the filibuster and pass the legislation with a simple majority
This article was originally published on