It is time that this nation works for working men and women again. Too long have those who make the American economy run been left on the sidelines. Too long have working families struggled to make ends meet. Too long have Americans been forced to work two and three jobs just to put food on the table and a roof over their heads. Too long has our nation’s wealth been concentrated in the hands of a few.
It is time to pass the PRO Act in the Senate and send it to the president to sign into law.
The House of Representatives passed the Act on March 9 and now it goes to the Senate, where there is a tough fight ahead.
This bill will help level the playing field that currently favors big business and the wealthy. Despite the fact that approval for unions and the right to collectively bargain is at a 50-year high among the U.S. population, the current landscape makes union organizing extraordinarily difficult.
The PROAct will correct this inequality and unfairness — sending wages and wealth inequality, eliteness of opportunity and inequality of power into the dustbin of history.
Consider these stats:
- From 1980 through 2017, the average incomes for the bottom 90 percent of households increased just 1.1 percent while the average incomes for the wealthiest 1 percent increased more than 184 percent.
- The average annual income of the top 1 percent is $1.3 million compared to the average annual income of the bottom 99 percent being $50,107. In other words, the top 1 percent of our country’s population makes 26.3 times more than the bottom 99 percent.
And then consider what workers who want to unionize are up against. The numbers are staggering:
- In one out of every three unionizing campaigns, employers fire pro-union workers.
- Employers spend at least $1 billion a year to stop union organizing.
- Ninety percent of employers require employees to attend captive audience meetings where they are pressured to vote against a union.
- A majority of organized units have no collective bargaining agreements a year after the election to unionize. So, even if workers succeed in overcoming the overwhelming odds to vote to unionize, they are still thwarted at the bargaining table.
The PRO Act will reverse the trend that for far too long has hampered the ability of workers to come together and collectively bargain for workplace rights and better wages and benefits. Weak labor laws, anti-worker special interests, and misguided court rulings have stripped workers of their power to join together and negotiate for decent wages, benefits, and working conditions.
The PRO Act will:
- Empower future union members and unions to exercise the freedom to organize and have a seat at the table to bargain wages, benefits, retirement security, and health and safety measures.
- Ensure that workers can reach a first contract quickly after a union is recognized.
- End managements’ practice of hiring permanent replacements to punish striking workers.
- Hold corporations accountable by strengthening the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) and allowing it to penalize employers who retaliate against working people who are in support of the union or collective bargaining.
- Repeal “Right-to-Work” laws — divisive laws created weaken unions and the ability of workers to have a say in their workplace.
- Create union pathways for workers to form unions, without fear, in newer industries like battery plants for Electric Vehicles.
Passage of the PRO Act is a top priority for the UAW. As this bill heads to the Senate, it is important to keep in mind that 85 years after passage of the National Labor Relations Act, workers still face obstacles, fear and intimidation when trying to organize or bargain for fair wages and working conditions. After years of legislative and court assaults on labor rights protections, it is time to restore workers’ rights again. Right now, it rests with the U.S. Senate.
Our nation’s working families cannot wait any longer. Workers’ rights cannot continue to erode. Our elected officials must step up, provide solid protections and support the brave workers who take a stand to demand fair treatment at work.
Call 866-832-1560 and tell your Senator that you support passage of the PRO Act for working families.