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AFL-CIO

PRO Act Passes House, Future in Senate Uncertain

With only 45 votes, there is much work to be done to pass it through the Senate

Brian Young's picture
Mar 10, 2021

After a day of speeches, late on Tuesday night, the House of Representatives voted to approve the Protect the Right to Organize (PRO) Act. This transformative piece of legislation would rewrite labor laws in favor of workers and would be the most meaningful change to labor law since the 1940s.

The PRO Act passed with bipartisan support. Five Republicans, Brian Fitzpatrick (PA-1), Jeff Van Drew (NJ-2), Christopher Smith (NJ-4), John Katko (NY-24), and Don Young (AK-At Large) voted in favor of the bill, while one Democrat Henry Cuellar (D-28) voted against it. Fitzpatrick, Van Drew, and Smith were all co-sponsors of the bill.

“This is a historic moment in the struggle for working people’s rights on the job, and it was delivered by a broad coalition that transcends any one issue, party, or ideology,” said AFL-CIO President Richard Trumka. “This fight is about strengthening fundamental civil rights. It’s about making us safer on the job, creating fairer workplaces, and building a stronger economy. In the wake of a devastating year for America’s workers, that cause has never been more urgent.”

“Working people have been patient long enough. We aren’t interested in excuses, and we aren’t interested in waiting. The PRO Act is our litmus test. If progress is delayed or denied yet again, the suffering of the past year will only get worse and working people will continue to pay the price of failed leadership.”

The bill now heads to the Senate where its future is much murkier. Currently, only 45 Democrats have signed on to co-sponsor the bill. Five Senators, Joe Manchin (D-WV), Krysten Sinema (D-AZ), Mark Kelly (D-AZ), Mark Warner (D-VA), and Independent Angus King (I-ME) have so far been silent on their support of the PRO Act.

There are also currently no Republicans who are co-sponsoring the bill in the Senate.

Congressman Tim Ryan (D-OH) called out these Republicans for not supporting the bill saying "Heaven forbid we pass something that's going to help the damn workers in the United States of America. Heaven forbid we tilt the balance that has been going in the wrong direction for 50 years. We talk about pensions, you complain. We talk about the minimum wage increase, you complain. We talk about giving them the right to organize, you complain. But if we were passing a tax cut here, you'd all be getting in line to vote yes for it. Now stop talking about Dr. Seuss and start working with us on behalf of the American workers."

Senators in these states are already feeling the pressure. Below is just one of the anti-union ads that are currently running in Arizona. If the PRO Act is going to make it through the Senate then every union member’s help is needed to ramp up the pressure. The AFL-CIO has released a toolkit where you can call your Senator and send an email to them asking them to support the PRO Act. If they are already supporting it, you can give them a call and thank them for their support and ask them to keep pushing to get the PRO Act passed.

You can also click here and record a message to Senators still on the fence asking them to support the PRO Act. UCOMM will push these videos out on social media and may even use them in a UCOMM PAC commercial.

You can also donate to UCOMM PAC to help get these ads running as quickly as possible.

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