Here is a brief rundown of The PRO Act, which passed the House the last session, and died in the Senate.
The cynic in me believes that if it were not headed to certain death at the hands of Mitch McConnell, it would not have passed the house, because it is an amazingly good bill.
The high points:
- Expands the definition of employer, to make it more difficult for employers to classify their employees as “Independent Contractors.”
- Narrows the definition of supervisor who cannot unionize.
- Increases data reporting requirements for the NLRB.
- Makes it illegal to threaten to shut down if unionized or to lock out workers.
- Repeals ban on secondary strikes, secondary boycotts, and jurisdictional strikes.
- Makes mandatory anti-union meetings illegal.
- Requires employers to maintain existing working conditions in the event of an impasse.
- Sets a strict timeline for employers to negotiate with a union.
- Allows union members to refuse to handle cargo from other business which are on strike.
- Makes it illegal to have mandatory arbitration or forbid employees from entering class-action suits.
- Requires employers to supply names of potential union membership voters.
- Reduce the restrictions on what constitutes a bargaining unit.
- Allows the union to specify the type (in person, by mail, etc) and location of a union recognition ballot.
- Speeds up unionization elections.
- Increases damages for unfair labor practices.
- Expands coverage of illegal immigrant workers.
- Makes NLRB orders self enforcing. (Don’t have to have a court ruling in addition to the NLRB decision)
- Creates personal liability for managers and officers who engage in unfair labor practices.
- Repeals right-to-work laws.
Given that there is actually a chance of this passing with a Democratic Senate this time around, I’m dubious that we will anything as expansive in scope hitting the floor of the house.
The Democratic Party establishment (There is no Democratic Party establishment) is fine with pro-labor legislation as performative legislation, but as actual law, the Blue Dogs and the New Dems have no interest in offending their corporate masters.