National coalition representing 24 million workers calls legislation a “good first step,” but demands Senate vote on PRO Act to deliver reform workers need
WASHINGTON, D.C. – Today, America’s largest labor and progressive coalition representing 24 million workers said that while the Inflation Reduction Act signed by President Biden was a step in the right direction, it’s time to finish the job to ensure our labor laws protect workers, and the groups are calling on the Senate to Pass the Protecting the Right to Organize (PRO) Act.
The Worker Power Coalition, which represents 40 worker and social justice organizations – says that the bill failed to include some critical labor reforms needed to protect workers, and are calling on Senate Democrats to hold a Senate vote in September on landmark labor reform legislation, the PRO Act. Workers across America are facing union-busting intimidation tactics from Starbucks, Apple, Amazon, Target, Trader Joe’s, and others. These practices would carry heavy penalties under the PRO Act, already passed by the House in March 2021 with bipartisan support.
The Worker Power Coalition is calling for Senate Democratic leadership to put the PRO Act at the top of the priority list for action when the Senate returns in September, so that Congress and President Biden can deliver on their promise to strengthen the rights and protections that all American workers need on the job.
IUPAT President Jimmy Williams, Jr.: “Today’s action by President Biden will help lower costs for working families and represents a historic investment in green energy infrastructure for our country. We must act now to support the new wave of workers organizing across the country in the face of CEOs continuing to use union-busting tactics like mandatory anti-union meetings, intimidating and even firing workers for organizing. That’s why we are calling for the Senate to prioritize passing the Protecting the Right to Organize Act so that American workers can organize for safer jobs, better working conditions, and the higher pay they need to provide for their families.”
Greenpeace USA Senior Campaigner Ben Smith: “The Inflation Reduction Act’s critical investments in renewable energy must be coupled with the labor protections contained in the PRO Act in order to realize the clean energy future that science and justice demand. Delivering labor law reform and protecting the right of every worker to organize for better pay, benefits, and safety on the job is key to mobilizing a more fair economy that can address the climate crisis. Senate Democrats must make a commitment to workers across the country by bringing the PRO Act to the floor for a vote in September. We must be sure that everyone has a livable future where we all thrive. This includes strengthening workers’ rights as well as protecting our communities from the health impacts of oil and gas pollution. No one should have to choose between a good union job and a healthy family.”
The COVID-19 pandemic exposed the need for workers to have a voice on their safety and working conditions. Now, inflation is causing economic hardship for workers across the nation. The time is now for Congress to enact common sense reforms to our labor laws and give workers a real voice at their jobs. The PRO Act is the best chance in decades to shift power away from corporate interests and to everyday Americans who work to provide for their families.
The PRO Act passed the House in March 2021 with bipartisan support and would protect workers’ rights to a free and fair election on forming a union and holding employers accountable for increasingly widespread interference, intimidation, and retaliation.
The Worker Power Coalition represents 24 million workers across the country and unites labor unions, grassroots organizations, businesses, worker advocates, think tanks, environmental activists, and more with the goal of strengthening labor laws, including passing the PRO Act to empower workers, strengthen their workplace protections, and increase their ability to use their voices collectively.