ATR, CWF Urge a NO Vote on the PRO Act

Posted by Olivia Grady on Tuesday, May 7th, 2019 at 12:03 pm - Permalink

Representative Bobby Scott (D-VA) and Senator Patty Murray (D-WA) introduced the Protecting the Right to Organize (PRO) Act on May 2, 2019.

Americans for Tax Reform and the Center for Worker Freedom strongly urge members of Congress to vote against the bill because the legislation would hurt workers.

The first section of the bill hurts workers by expanding the definition of joint employer to include indirect control. The American Action Forum has estimated that this expanded joint employer standard would result in 1.7 million fewer jobs.

The expanded joint employer standard also harms businesses, particularly small businesses and franchises, because of its lack of clarity. In fact, the International Franchise Association found that the expanded joint employer standard has cost franchise businesses $33.3 billion per year and lost 376,000 job opportunities. It also has increased lawsuits by 93%.

In addition, the PRO Act forces employers to provide the contact information of their employees to unions. This contact information would include “names, home addresses, work locations, shifts, job classifications, and, if available to the employer, personal landline and mobile telephone numbers, and email addresses.” Unfortunately, in some states that already require employers to give unions this private information, employees have received many aggressive and intimidating phone calls and home visits, and some states even exempt unions from harassment and stalking laws.

Further, the legislation would shorten the election procedure, similar to the Obama Administration’s ambush election rule. This shortened election procedure gives unions an advantage and does not give workers the time to learn about the pros and cons of unionization.

The PRO Act would also allow unions to collect fees from workers who refuse to join their unions. While the bill does not directly repeal right-to-work laws, the PRO Act would effectively end Right to Work in the 27 states that allow workers to choose whether to support and join a union or not. This would hurt workers by limiting their First Amendment rights. In addition, Right-to-Work states usually have lower unemployment rates, more jobs and stronger economic growth than states with forced unionization.  

Finally, the PRO Act would re-impose the Obama Administration’s Persuader rule. This rule would have required employers to disclose conversations that they had with their lawyers about union elections. Employers are already required to disclose conversations their lawyers have with their employees about union elections. Re-imposing the Persuader rule would violate the attorney-client privilege of the employers and prevent workers from learning about the negatives of unionization.

Because the PRO Act would result in limited free speech for workers, fewer jobs, higher costs, more litigation, and other negative consequences, Americans for Tax Reform and the Center for Worker Freedom urge members of Congress to vote against this bill.