Norcross & Congressional Leaders Unveil Landmark Legislation to Protect Workers’ Right to Organize
Norcross, An Electrician & Fmr. Labor Leader, Says:
“We must fight back against attacks on democracy in the workplace”
WASHINGTON, DC – Today, U.S. Congressman Donald Norcross (NJ-01) – member of the House Committee on Education and the Labor and member of the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers (IBEW) Local 351 – joined House and Senate Democrats in introducing the Protecting the Right to Organize (PRO) Act. This comprehensive bill protects workers’ right to organize a union and bargain for higher wages, better benefits and safer working conditions.
“Workers win when they band together and use their voices to raise wages and strengthen standards in their workplace,” said Congressman Norcross, a former business agent for the IBEW Local 351 and President of the Southern New Jersey AFL-CIO. “I know how important it is for working families to organize together because I lived it. I fought for New Jerseyans at the negotiating table for decades. Now, we must fight back against attacks on democracy in the workforce. We need to come together and pass the PRO Act to help restore workers’ rights.”
“Evidence and experience demonstrate that labor unions are one of the most powerful tools workers have to improve the standard of living for themselves and their families. However, there are currently no meaningful penalties for predatory corporations that use unlawful tactics to discourage workers from organizing a union,” said Chair Bobby Scott, Education and Labor Committee. “The PRO Act is a comprehensive proposal to ensure that workers have the right to stand together and negotiate for higher wages, better benefits, and safer working conditions.”
A recent study published in the National Bureau of Economic Research found that unions have consistently provided workers with a 10–20% wage boost over their non-union counterparts over the past eight decades.
The PRO Act specifically:
- Establishes penalties on predatory corporations that violate workers’ rights, and combat misclassification of workers as supervisors and independent contractors.
- Strengthens workers’ right to strike for basic workplace improvements, including higher wages and better working conditions.
- Creates a mandatory mediation and arbitration process to ensure corporations and newly formed unions reach a first contract.
- Authorizes unions and employers to negotiate agreements that allow unions to collect fair-share fees that cover the costs of representation.
- Streamlines the National Labor Relation Board’s (NLRB) procedures to secure worker freedoms and effectively prevent violations.
- Protects the integrity of union elections against coercive captive audience meetings.
Click here to read a fact sheet describing the bill.
Click here to read section-by-section description of the bill.