A bill in the Connecticut House of Representatives would allow the state to effectively nullify worker-employer agreements designed to prevent lawsuits and let state officials bestow some monetary awards on unions.
The legislation, sponsored by State Representative Michael Winkler (D-Vernon), would evade what it refers to as “forced arbitration agreements” and “allow employees to sue employers on behalf of the state after having waived their personal rights to sue.”
Tennessee’s AFL-CIO chapter rallied Tuesday afternoon outside the Nashville offices of Republican Senators Marsha Blackburn and Bill Hagerty in favor of the Protecting the Right to Organize (PRO) Act.
The legislation would forbid states from maintaining right-to-work policies which allow workers who chose not to join a union to decline to pay union dues. The bill would also redefine many independent contractors as employees for purposes of collective bargaining—thus placing what many consider a heavy burden on freelancers—and would impose numerous other pro-union provisions.
The consequences of Democratic control of Congress and the White House are just beginning to be felt, as one of the most disruptive pieces of legislation in American history quietly moves from the House of Representatives to the Senate, where only a successful filibuster may prevent its passage. H.R. 842, also known as the Protect the Right to Organize Act (PRO Act) goes a long way towards completing America’s transition into a corporate oligarchy. Because it will also make the elite captains of big labor more powerful than ever, they don’t care.
The PRO Act, like the more visible H.R. 1, is an example of disastrous legislation that is packaged and labeled as advancing the interests of the American worker, when in fact they are designed by special interests to destroy democracy and deny upward mobility. The new operative theme is simple and tragic: in America, big labor, big business, and big government no longer engage in healthy conflict. Rather than checking and balancing each other, on the biggest issues they display a corrupt unity.
Here are some of the provisions of the PRO Act:
Big labor suffered a significant loss in its attempt to unionize employees at Amazon’s warehouse facility in Bessemer, Alabama. Of the workers eligible to vote, an embarrassingly small 16% voted to join the Retail, Wholesale and Department Store Union. It was the most recent in a series of high-profile losses for labor including failed attempts to unionize factories for Volkswagen, Nissan Motors, and Boeing. In each case, union leaders bet that they could convince workers it was in their best interests to be enrolled in a union that would stand up to management over wages and working conditions. In each case, they lost.