House Democrats are preparing to force a vote on what’s known as the PRO Act (Protecting the Right to Organize) today. This giveaway to labor unions contains all manner of goodies on the Democrats’ wish list, including some that appear to be blatantly in defiance of previous Supreme Court rulings. The Competitive Enterprise Institute has published a summary of the major provisions and what it would mean to workers, particularly those in right to work states. Here are a couple of the worst parts of the bill.
Essentially nullifies 28 states’ right to work laws. In these states, workers at a unionized workplace may choose whether or not they want the union to represent them. The PRO Act would require non-union workers to pay union dues as a condition of employment, even when they opt out of union representation.
Force employers to provide unions with employees’ personal information, including home addresses, working hours, phone numbers, and email addresses. Unions have already used such information before to pressure workers to support unionization campaigns. As Kovacs writes: “In one example, the Communication Workers of America Local 1103 used a workers’ personal data to sign her up for unwanted magazine subscriptions and consumer products. She was billed thousands of dollars and had to spend hours each day unsubscribing herself.”
The first item on the list dealing with the collection of dues from workers who opt out of union membership appears to directly fly in the face of the Supreme Court’s ruling in Janus v AFSCME, at least in spirit. Workers around the country have been winning one battle after another in court when seeking to have their union dues and fees refunded to them. Yet somehow the Democrats appear to believe they can just turn back the clock on all of this.
As for mandating that employers turn over the personal contact information of their workers to union representatives, the risk there should be obvious. That’s just an invitation for union thugs to dox or otherwise harass people who don’t go along with unionization schemes.
On top of that, the bill would also change the definition of “joint employer” to make it easier for unions to force themselves on franchise operations like the majority of McDonald’s restaurants. This has been on the wishlist of Democrats for a long time.
Heather Greenaway of the Workforce Fairness Institute sent a letter to the leadership of both parties in the House this week, informing them that they will be scoring this bill for their Congressional Labor Scorecard in the runup to this year’s elections. Here’s the introductory passage.
On behalf of the Workforce Fairness Institute (WFI), I am writing to share our organization’s vehement opposition to H.R. 2474, the Protecting the Right to Organize Act (PRO Act). WFI has serious concerns with the broad, overreaching nature of this legislation and the many ways in which it would undermine worker freedom and privacy, while simultaneously threatening businesses and entire industries that keep America’s economy thriving.
The good news, if there is any, is that the Senate is unlikely to even consider this legislation as long as Cocaine Mitch is in charge. And even if it was somehow passed, President Trump would veto it in a heartbeat. But the simple fact that the Democrats are pushing through a vote gives you a look at what may be in store for all of us if they manage to sweep the elections in November. And the future looks pretty bleak for right to work advocates in that scenario.