Fair World Project Urges Action to Support PRO Act

by Anna Canning – Campaigns Manager, Fair World Project

Dignified work, fair pay, safe workplaces: those are some of the things we value. No matter where in the world you live, we hold that people should be able to earn a living without needlessly risking their lives or their health. Those are just some of the basics. But unfortunately, those basics are under attack.

Here in the U.S., it’s been a while since our labor laws, the basic frameworks that protect working people, have had a reboot. But right now, we have a chance at getting some strong protections passed – we just need to convey that urgency to the Senate.

The PRO Act (full name, “Protecting the Right to Organize Act”) is some of the most significant worker empowerment legislation since the Great Depression. Since then, corporate lobbyists and corporate-friendly judges have worked hard to erode key workplace protection laws, especially those that protect the right to organize. That has undermined working peoples’ ability to build power and negotiate better wages and benefits.

The result? We’re now seeing a rapidly growing gap between the wealthiest in society and all the rest of us. It’s squeezing working people, small business people, and families.

One step to building an economy that works for all of us is to build people power to match the corporate power that’s been undermining our collective standards of living for too long.

The PRO Act has some key provisions that can help:

• Make it easier for people to organize with their coworkers to negotiate for better pay and benefits, or critical issues like time off to care for loved ones. Organized workers are also better able to stand up to discrimination or speak out against unsafe working conditions. The last year has shown just how critical that is, especially for workers of color and women who are disproportionately essential workers and have been more likely to lose life, health, and employment during the pandemic.
Penalties for retaliation. Disempowering working people has become an entire industry. The PRO Act includes provisions for penalizing corporations who illegally retaliate against people who organize to discuss pay and working conditions with their coworkers. Approximately 75% of large employers hire anti-union firms–increased penalties would support workers to build their vision for a better workplace.
Support for working people building power. Currently, corporations have the upper hand, misclassifying too many people to dodge paying fair wages and taxes, or delaying negotiations after workers have made their voices heard. The PRO Act includes clear guidelines for classifying workers in our modern economy and requirements for time bound negotiation of contracts.

New polling has shown that a strong majority of voters in key states support the PRO Act – and that’s regardless of whether they live in rural, urban or suburban communities, or who they’ve voted for. We’re all on the same page: We need more people power to combat the corporate power that’s squeezing our families and our communities.

Let your Senators know: it’s high time to Pass the PRO Act

 

Fair World Project (FWP) educates and advocates for a just global economy where: people are treated fairly with dignity; the environment is respected and nourished; commerce fosters sustainable livelihoods and communities in a global society based on cooperation and solidarity; fair market opportunities and fair government and trade policy defend, and support the contributions of farmers, workers, and artisans to our global society; marketing claims have integrity and promote throughout entire supply chains, and support dedicated brands that put people before profits.