To The Editor:

In November, America’s voters made history by electing Joe Biden and Kamala Harris as president and vice president, respectively, of the United States. In January, voters in Georgia shocked the nation two more times with the elections of Senators Jon Ossoff and Raphael Warnock.

Now, with a pro-worker majority in the House, Senate and White House, America’s labor movement has a real chance to build the power of working people like never before.

This raises the question: How?

The answer is with the passage of the Protecting the Right to Organize (PRO) Act, the most significant worker empowerment legislation since the Great Depression.

If passed, it would dramatically increase penalties for employers that violate workers’ rights; protect strikes and other protest activity; streamline the process for reaching a collective bargaining agreement once a union is formed; and so much more.

This isn’t just any bill -- it’s civil rights legislation, protecting women, immigrants, people of color and the LGBTQ community, and economic stimulus, putting more money in the pockets of workers, which helps our economy build back better. It’s a generational opportunity for the nearly 60 million workers who want to join a union but haven’t found the path to get there under current law.

The PRO Act was passed by the House in 2020 but stalled when it fell onto former Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell’s desk. When McConnell rejected the bill, he slapped millions of America’s workers and union members in the face. And it stung.

With the sting of McConnell’s abhorrent rejection fresh in our minds, we canvassed. We made phone calls. We knocked on doors. And we got it done. That’s why in 2021, America’s labor movement will do everything in our power to win.

There’s no going back: It’s time for accountability and action. It’s time to pass the PRO Act.

 

Joe Dillow

Shawnee Labor Council

Portsmouth