The COVID-19 pandemic and ensuing lockdowns have left the economy in tatters. Now, liberal lawmakers are set to trash what’s left of the economy while small businesses struggle to recoup their losses.
The PRO (Protect the Right to Organize) Act, which has already passed the Democrat-controlled House of Representatives, would boost unions without regard for the needs of small business owners or even independent workers who want nothing to do with union control. The act interferes with state rights by revoking right-to-work laws in more than half of the states of the union. It would force workers to not only join a union, but also pay dues.
To make matters worse, business owners would be forced to provide unions with the home address, mobile and landline phone numbers, email address, shifts, job location, and job classification of each employee. The bill also limits a company’s right to hire independent contractors, and eliminates the use of secret voting for union decisions. It even gives union the right to picket an employer’s suppliers and customers. If there ever was a bill created to cater to the dreams of union advocates, this is it.
Unfortunately, it will be ordinary workers who will get shafted if the bill is passed. As the nation discovered after Amazon employees in Alabama overwhelmingly voted against union representation, many workers want nothing to do with unions and all they stand for. In fact, companies that need workers (such as Amazon) are more than happy to offer good salaries and benefits in order to retain needed employees.
At the same time, there are many people who enjoy the freedom of working as independent contractors. Forcing companies to hire these people will put these people out of work, as California discovered after AB5 was passed. Instead of getting good-paying, full-time jobs with benefits, contractors got unemployment.
Small business owners will likewise face the full force of these proposals. They would be unable to get expert help from contractors and could be faced with protests if they dare to supply goods and/or services to any company that a union is displeased with. Given that fact, it’s not surprising that the National Federation of Independent Business is completely opposed to the PRO Act.
The good news is that the bill will have a hard time passing the Senate. At present, there are five Democrat senators who have refused to sign onto the bill. Furthermore, the filibuster would make it impossible for the bill to pass without the support of all Democrats and at least ten Republicans. The bad news is that the bill has already passed the House of Representatives, and progressive activists are calling on supporters to put more pressure on undecided Democrats.
It remains to be seen if the bill will become national law, but what can be said for certain is that the PRO Act would have a crippling blow on the economy.