The PRO Act Is Not Just a Union Handout—It’s an Assault on the Freedom of Association Itself
On February 4, 2021, Democrats in the House and Senate introduced the Protecting the Right to Organize (PRO) Act. Like many names in Washington, this one is an Orwellian misnomer that does the exact opposite of what it claims to be doing. If passed, the bill, which is basically a union wish list, would radically transform the nature of the labor market in the US with numerous sweeping and heavy-handed changes. Andy Levin (MI-09), a sponsor of the bill, doesn’t bother to hide its envy-driven prounion goals; in his press release, he whined about income inequality and stated that “The PRO Act would reverse years of attacks on unions and restore fairness to the economy by strengthening the federal laws that protect workers’ right to join a union and bargain for higher wages and better benefits.”
The bill’s cheerleaders may talk about how it will give workers the ability to choose to exercise their rights to organize at work, but much like the mafia, this bill will ensure that the choice to unionize is one that workers can’t refuse. In a sweeping assault on federalism, it would overturn right-to-work laws in twenty-seven states that allow workers at unionized workplaces to opt out of being in the union and paying dues. If your workplace forms a union, you will have to be in it.
And, not to worry, the PRO Act will ensure that almost every vote to organize will come out in the union’s favor, one way or another. The labor law firm SmithAmundesen reports that the bill would expand the kinds of workers who can unionize and would give the union the power to determine how votes will take place. In the event that the union loses and complains about the company, it can use a method called “card check” where instead of having a secret ballot, unionizers can intimidate and harass employees into signing a card saying they want the union to represent them. Under current labor rules, if a majority of employees have signed such a card, then the workplace can either accept the union or have the federal government organize a secret-ballot election. Under the new rules, after the union claims to have a majority of signatures, unionization is automatic, with no vote.
SmithAmundesen also reports that the law would prevent an employer from withdrawing recognition of the union, even
Article from Mises Wire