Posted on Dec 09, 2021 by LaborPains.org Team
Senator Bernie Sanders is hitting the road on a “Pass the PRO Act: Holiday Tour” that is sure to be as exciting as finding a lump of coal in your stocking. Sanders will be joined by his un-wise men, the Worker Power Coalition, which consists of the SEIU, the Democratic Socialists of America, United Auto Workers, and many others. Like Jingle Ball but with more socialists, the tour will be making stops in several cities to promote the Protect the Right to Organize Act (PRO Act) – a disastrous policy that is good at lining the pockets of labor unions and Democrat politicians, but bad at protecting actual workers and their jobs. The PRO Act, which passed the House in March, is loaded with radical policies, including outlawing right-to-work laws in several states and allowing unions to bypass secret ballot elections, leaving workers vulnerable to intimidation and coercion. The PRO Act also aims to rope independent contractors and gig workers into unions by turning them into full-time employees. The bill’s main goal is obvious: force more workers to join unions after decades of declining union enrollment. A study from the Institute for the American Worker found that the PRO Act would leave workers with less money and less influence over their workplace. A separate study found that unions stand to make more than $1 billion if the PRO Act becomes law. (Queue the Scrooge music.) Fortunately for workers, the PRO Act has stalled in the Senate. Like the ghost of Christmas future, Senator Kyrsten Sinema has been trying to warn members of her party that the PRO Act will leave the country worse off – and she’s succeeded, for now. But because no good deed goes unpunished in Congress. Sanders made the first stop of his holiday tour in Phoenix, Arizona, outside Sinema’s office. The tour will also target Republicans who oppose the bill in Wisconsin (Ron Johnson) and Indiana (Mike Braun and Todd Young). While Sinema and others have stood strong against the PRO Act, Sanders and his crew have still been working to weasel parts of the bill into President Biden’s Build Back Better legislation. Among the provisions that made it in are policies that could allow companies to be fined for even minor or highly technical labor law violations without any chance to fix their errors. Notably, the money from these fines will go toward the National Labor Relations Board, rather than to workers. Of course, unions wouldn’t be subject to the same fines when they violate the law. The bill would also allow union members to write off up to $250 in union dues, a move that would essentially allow taxpayers to subsidize union membership. This is despite the fact that a large chunk of union dues go to fund left-leaning causes. In fact, workers who are not union members but still pay agency fees (which don’t support political activity) are not eligible for the tax deduction. The PRO Act is the fruitcake of bad policies that no family wants to have stuffed in their faces this holiday season. Lawmakers must do what they can to ensure every part of the PRO Act is left behind in 2021.