Labor Pains: Because Being in a Union can be Painful

Unions Would Gain Billions In Dues Dollars Under PRO Act

Like most legislation labor unions promote, the Protecting the Right to Organize (PRO) Act is just another way union leaders can line their coffers.

The PRO Act, a bill before Congress that would overhaul the U.S. labor system, is estimated to nearly double the amount of money unions collect in a given year, according to a new report from the Institute for the American Worker. The report revealed that, even under the most conservative estimates, unions could make $20 billion per year in dues and fees — about double the $10 billion per year the unions already rake in.

Of course, it’s unlikely that the majority of that money will be put toward workers. It will likely go to help fund overhead costs — think six-figure union leader salaries or thousands of dollars in travel expenses — as well as political spending. Under the PRO Act, the report estimates that unions will be able to spend an additional $3 billion on political activities and lobbying in the coming two-year campaign cycle.

If current trends hold, a significant portion of that money could go to line the pockets of the Democratic legislators who are pushing the PRO Act through Congress. In 2020, 87 percent of union political spending benefited Democrats. Under the PRO Act, Democrats can expect to see an additional $574 million in financial support each year, according to the report.

Meanwhile, the American people are uncomfortable with a lot of the PRO Act’s provisions. A recent survey from Rasmussen Reports found that 48 percent of Americans were opposed to a provision that would require employers to hand over employees’ personal information (addresses, phone numbers, email addresses, etc.) so the union can use that information for recruitment. Only 36 percent of respondents supported the measure.

Similarly, 41 percent of respondents opposed a provision that would force independent contractors, including Uber drivers and other freelancers, to abandon their flexibility and be classified as full-time employees, while just 35 percent of respondents supported the measure. Moreover, 48 percent of respondents said they opposed the PRO Act’s ability to overturn legislation in Right to Work states.

The PRO Act is a terrible policy filled with provisions the American people do not want. Still, union leaders and their allies in Congress are pushing the legislation forward because they see the pot of gold they stand to gain if the bill becomes law.

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