Congress is debating legislation that bans “right to work” laws and makes it easier for workers to organize by ending employer interference and intimidation in union drives. The PRO Act stands for Protect the Right to Organize and labor is uniting to win its passage.
Over 180 unions support the legislation, including the Teamsters.
Here are key provisions in the PRO Act:
Stronger and swifter remedies when employers interfere with workers’ rights. Under current law, there are no penalties on employers or compensatory damages for workers when employers illegally fire or retaliate against workers who are trying to form a union.
More freedom to organize without employer interference. The PRO Act streamlines the NLRB election process so workers can petition to form a union and get a timely vote without their employer interfering and delaying the vote.
- Winning first contract agreements when workers organize and protecting fair share agreements. The PRO Act establishes a process for reaching a first agreement when workers organize, utilizing mediation and then, if necessary, binding arbitration, to enable the parties to reach a first agreement.
Protecting strikes and other protest activity. Court decisions have dramatically undermined the right to strike by allowing employers to “permanently replace” strikers. The law also prohibits boycotts of so-called “secondary” companies as a means of putting economic pressure on the workers’ employer, even if these companies hold real sway over the employer and could help settle the dispute. The PRO Act would give unions more power.
- Organizing and bargaining rights for more workers. Too often, employers misclassify workers as independent contractors, who do not have the right to organize. The PRO Act tightens the definitions of independent contractor.
The right to organize is essential to rebuilding the U.S. labor movement. Transportation and logistics remain central to the economy.
Working Teamsters understand the importance of organizing key industries in our union in order to grow our union in the 21st Century. Passing the PRO Act would be a game-changer to help us do this.