Workers’ Rights are in Peril: Why Congress Must Pass the PRO Act
By Lorena Roque
In response to stagnating wages, poor working conditions, and a harrowing two years of health-related work concerns, workers across the country are increasingly exercising their right to organize unions. Workers at more than 318 Starbucks stores have filed for union elections, and 220 locations have won union representation. Warehouse and retail workers at companies like Amazon, REI, Trader Joe’s, and Apple have joined the organizing wave. According to the federal Bureau of Labor Statistics, union election petitions have increased 57 percent in the first half of fiscal year 2022, compared to the first half of 2021.
The publicity around these organizing drives has also exposed the failures of our federal labor law, which allows companies to intimidate, harass, and fire employees with impunity for exercising their rights to organize and bargain collectively.
This fact sheet summarizes some of the pervasive tactics employers use to deter union organizing or to delay workers reaching a first contract. In addition, it examines how provisions in the Protecting the Right to Organize Act (PRO Act) can strengthen labor law and provide greater protections for workers. And it offers a summary of the benefits of union representation for workers, their families, and their communities.