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Press Release

Democrats blocked predicted midterm election “red wave” through leadership on worker rights

Election night returns show Democratic path to victory for future years will hinge increasingly on action for economic justice issues for the working class

WASHINGTON, D.C. – The success of Democrats in avoiding the sweeping GOP “red wave” predicted in the midterm elections reflects the leadership of Democrats on key worker rights issues, and Democratic candidates’ commitment to passing pro-worker legislation like the historic Protecting the Right to Organize (PRO) Act. The results match with recent Worker Power Coalition polling which revealed that voters in battleground states, particularly young voters, want Congress to take more action to improve worker rights – a clear indication of the need for Democrats to continue taking actionable steps to advance protections for Americans in the workplace. 

As the country continues to experience the highest levels of union activism and enthusiasm in decades amidst high profile organizing campaigns at Starbucks, Amazon, and more, the path to victory for Democrats in Congress hinges on catching up to the energy their base has on these issues with concrete policy actions. Democratic candidates who ran on platforms centered around pro-worker policies won in competitive races across the country – including John Fetterman and Summer Lee in Pennsylvania, Maxwell Frost in Florida, Delia Ramirez in Illinois, and Greg Casar in Texas. Pro-worker ballot measures for minimum wage increases also won in Nebraska, Nevada, and Washington, D.C., and a worker rights measure in Illinois further underscored the power of labor as an issue for Democratic voter turnout. Michigan Democrats ran on a pro-worker agenda and won back control of the state legislature for the first time in nearly 40 years, paving the way to strengthen worker rights by repealing the state’s anti-union “right-to-work” law.

The American people understand that the economy in this country is rigged against them. If Democrats don’t embrace pro-worker economic fairness as a central plank of their battleground messaging and legislative agenda, they will face an even tougher electoral map in 2024.

Sara Steffens, CWA Secretary-Treasurer; Worker Power Coalition Steering Committee Member: “Over the past few months, working people who have been organizing on the job to join unions mobilized in their communities alongside other union members to elect candidates who share our democratic values. These workers have shown the country that our labor laws are broken and that we must join together to reign in the power that corporations have over too many aspects of our lives. The Biden Administration is focused on rebuilding the middle class by removing barriers to union membership. Now, Congressional Democrats must take up that mantle and continue to rebuild the trust of middle class voters by passing popular, pro-worker policies like those in the Protecting the Right to Organize Act.” 

Jimmy Williams, IUPAT General President; Worker Power Coalition Steering Committee Member: “Throughout this year, workers are organizing at historic levels to fight for a seat at the table – not only in the halls of Congress, but also in the bosses’ office. With giant corporations spending millions to stop workers from exercising their right to form a union and radical politicians attacking the very foundations of our democracy, now is the time for Democrats to continue to deliver on their promises to level the playing field. Working people are on the move, and if Democrats want to cement their identity as the party of the working class, now is the time to prove it.”

Varshini Prakash, Sunrise Movement Executive Director; Worker Power Coalition Steering Committee Member: “We know that a green just economy is the only future our world survives in, and that an intersectional, sustainable economic platform is one that serves the poor, the working class, the underprivileged. Democratic candidates who won on Tuesday ran on a platform that puts climate and economic justice first. With control of Congress on the line, Democrats must fully embrace the Green New Deal to power our fight against climate change by strengthening worker rights and creating the green union jobs our economy and communities need.”

Nelini Stamp, Working Families Party Director of Strategy; Worker Power Coalition Steering Committee Member: “Americans know that the economy in this country is rigged against them, and that is why Democrats who ran on a pro-worker agenda won in so many battleground races on Tuesday. But with many races still too close to call, it is clear that much more must be done by Democrats to demonstrate their commitment to the millions of American workers who made their voices heard in this election. If Democrats do not embrace pro-worker economic fairness as a central plank of their legislative agenda in Congress, you can bet they will face an even tougher election map in 2024.”

Sydney Ghazarian, Democratic Socialists of America, National Political Committee Member; Worker Power Coalition Steering Committee Member: “Labor union organizing is surging across the country, and worker unions are currently more popular than they have been in  50 years. Any party seeking to win an election right now must center a clear, concise vision of change that will transfer power out of the hands of corporate oligarchs and back into the hands of working people. No matter who controls Congress next year, voters will be watching to see which party steps up with an agenda that promises bold action to dismantle the decades of unjust laws rigging the economy against us.”

Leah Greenberg, Indivisible Co-Executive Director; Worker Power Coalition Steering Committee Member: “People know that big corporations are rigging the rules of the economy to squeeze more and more out of them, and they want political leaders who will forcefully stand on their side. With control of Congress hanging by a thread as final votes are counted, it is clear that for Democrats to build a majority-winning coalition, they must continue to embrace an economic policy platform that centers the hardships working people experience – and champion legislation like the PRO Act to finally unrig our system. ”

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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. Learn more at PassThePROAct.Org.

Categories
Press Release

BREAKING: New NLRB Report Showing 53% Spike In Union Drives Coupled With Troubling 23% Surge In Union Busting Complaints Requires Immediate Action From Congress

Coalition of labor unions representing 24 million workers, environmental groups, and progressive advocacy organizations say new trends demonstrate need for Congress boost of NLRB funding to protect workers, structural changes to dangerously outdated federal labor laws 

WASHINGTON, D.C. – The Worker Power Coalition, a national table representing 24 million workers and dozens of progressive, labor, and environmental advocacy organizations, says the new revelations contained in yesterday’s NLRB report demonstrate an urgent need for Congress to immediately boost fundings for the agency mandated to protect workers rights – and for Senate passage of the landmark bipartisan labor reform legislation, the PRO Act. 

The new NLRB report reveals that in 2022, workers filed 2,510 union representation petitions – a 53% spike from the 1,638 petitions filed by workers in 2021 and the highest number since 2016. The report also sheds fresh insight into the scale of corporate employers attacks in response to those filings,  with Unfair Labor Practices (ULP) charges also skyrocketing this year to almost 18,000 submitted by workers – a nearly 20% surge compared to 2021. Combined, the NLRB said its caseload jumped 23 percent in 2022 and was the largest single-year increase since the 1976 fiscal year. 

Illegal union-busting tactics being used by employers like Amazon, Starbucks, Apple and Activision Blizzard continue to dominate national headlines as more and more workers try to organize for their rights, yet the NLRB lacks the funding resource to investigate widespread harassment, retaliation, and termination of workers exerting their protected right to concerted union activity. The new NLRB numbers underscore the consequences of their funding crisis precipitating across the country – and why America’s labor movement is demanding that Congress immediately act to increase funding for the NLRB so it has what it needs to carry out its mandate to protect workers’ rights. 


Worker Power Coalition National Co-Chair Sara Steffens: “Workers at companies like Amazon, Starbucks, Apple and Activision Blizzard are forming unions and leading a national wave of activism to demand better pay and job safety, but they are facing illegal retaliation and CEOs are spending millions on private union-busting firms to try to stop them. This report proves that this surge in worker organizing is the largest in more than 50 years. The NLRB’s mandate is to protect workers’ rights and encourage collective bargaining, but Congress has refused to increase funding for the agency for nearly a decade, even as multi-billion dollar companies wage ruthless union-busting campaigns to silence their workers. Enough is enough. It’s time for the Senate to wake up to this broken system and increase funding for the NLRB so that these CEOs are held accountable.”

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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. Learn more at PassThePROAct.Org.

Categories
Press Release

Senate under pressure as labor unions, environmental justice groups double down in push for PRO Act passage

As legislative calendar winds down, coalition representing 24 million workers and dozens of progressive organizations turns up pressure in demands for a Senate vote on the marquee labor legislation

New 2022 poll shows 87% of young voters in battleground states more likely to back pro-worker candidates in midterm election 

WASHINGTON, D.C. – Pressure is on for the U.S. Senate, as a national coalition of labor, environmental justice, and progressive organizations representing 24 million workers turns up the heat on their demand for a vote on the landmark labor reform legislation, the Protecting the Right to Organize (PRO) Act. As potentially illegal harassment, retaliation, and union-busting by Amazon, Starbucks, and Apple continues to make headlines, advocates say that millions of workers across the country can’t afford to keep waiting for the Senate to take action.

Over the past seven weeks, the Worker Power Coalition – a diverse coalition made up of dozens of powerhouse progressive organizations including environmental justice groups, think tanks, grassroots organizations, and major labor unions – has mobilized members across the country with rolling in-district direct actions in the top 2022 battleground swing states.

In a new Worker Power Coalition 2022 poll, 87% of young voters under 40 say that a top issue motivating them to vote is support for workers’ rights – further underscoring the strong public support for a Senate vote on the PRO Act. In fact, the new data shows that this voting bloc is fueling the ongoing surge of Democratic over-performance in this fall’s most hotly-contested Senate races. 

Worker Power Coalition delegations met with Senate Democrats in Arizona, Colorado, Georgia, New Hampshire, Nevada, and Virginia, and held actions pressing Senate Republicans in Ohio, Wisconsin, and Florida to back the bill. The multi-state mobilization campaign has been the largest organizing effort of WPC to date, and demonstrates the growing momentum and consensus amongst the left for a vote this congress on the urgently needed legislation. 

In a joint letter to Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer and Senate Democratic leadership, more than 50 progressive organizations represented in the Worker Power Coalition joined together to call on leaders to take action and hold a vote on the popular legislation. As the 2022 legislative clock ticks down, the window for a vote in this congress on the bipartisan bill, which already passed the House of Representatives, could be the best chance in generations to meaningfully reform America’s broken federal labor laws.

Sunrise Movement Executive Director Varshini Prakash: “The PRO Act is a core pillar of the Green New Deal. We can’t fairly mobilize our economy to stop the climate crisis without passing comprehensive labor law reform and guaranteeing every worker the right to organize. Schumer must use his power to bring this popular piece of legislation to the floor and demonstrate his commitment to workers all across the country.” 

Indivisible Project Co-Founder and Co-Executive Director Leah Greenberg: “In the face of right-wing extremism seeking to undermine our democracy, it gives me hope that people across the country are fighting back – including workers standing up against big corporations, exercising democracy in the workplace. People are desperate for Democratic Senators to stand side-by-side with them in this struggle and take action. Passing the Protecting the Right to Organize Act would level the playing field for these workers, and show people which side the Senate Democrats are on.”

Communications Workers of America Secretary-Treasurer Sara Steffens: “We must do everything possible to support the growing number of workers who are joining together to improve their workplaces. Our labor laws are outdated and broken. Employers flagrantly violate workers’ rights, hold mandatory anti-union meetings, and intimidate and even fire workers for organizing. Workers need for the Senate to pass the Protecting the Right to Organize Act now so they can organize for safer jobs, better working conditions, and higher pay.”

Background

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 working people around 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.

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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.

Categories
Blog Post

Workers facing union-busting CEOs need more to protect good jobs

American workers and the progressive movement won important gains in Democrats’ inflation bill recently passed by Congress, which lowers costs for working families and makes historic investment in green energy. But until the Senate finally passes the Protecting the Right to Organize (PRO) Act, millions of American workers will continue to struggle in an economy rigged against them and tilted in favor of giant corporations.

A new Worker Power Coalition 2022 poll of battleground state voters highlights that the PRO Act is popular with both Democrats and Republicans, but its approval rating is off the charts with young voters who back the legislation with 85% support.

A national wave of worker activism is growing across the country, with more workers coming together every day to exercise their rights to form a union and use their power to demand the good pay, benefits, and job safety they have earned and deserve. As momentum grows and more workers demand change that will transform our economy for the better, this is something to celebrate.

But Starbucks, Apple, Amazon, Target, Trader Joe’s and many more mega corporations are waging ruthless union-busting campaigns to try to silence these workers and not nearly enough is being done to stop these violations of workers’ rights and hold these CEOs accountable. These practices would carry heavy penalties under the PRO Act, already passed by the House in March 2021 with bipartisan support.

In addition to passing the PRO Act, Congress must pass the No Tax Breaks for Union Busting Act and increase funding for the National Labor Relations Board, which is charged with holding companies accountable for violating the rights of workers. These two measures would make a huge impact in the fight to rein in giant corporations and put power back in the hands of workers.

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 PRO Act so that American workers can organize for safer jobs, better working conditions, and the higher pay they need to provide for their families. 

The Worker Power Coalition is calling for Senate Democratic leadership to put the PRO Act at the top of the priority list for action this month, so that Congress and President Biden can deliver on their promise to voters to strengthen the rights and protections that all American workers need on the job.

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