Sunday, January 23, 2022

Play

Despite a failed attempt in the U.S. Senate, more than 200 business owners call for federal reforms to strengthen election laws, and the U.S. Supreme Court deals another blow to abortion providers.

Play

President Biden gets cheers and jeers as he marks his first year in the White House, the Jan. 6 committee wants to hear from Ivanka Trump, and the Supreme Court rejects another challenge to the Texas abortion law.

Play

Expanded broadband akin to electrification in rural America 80 years ago; small Wyoming grocery store survives monopolization; revitalized Kansas town gets national recognition; and Montana's Native communities look for voter suppression work-arounds.

Unions Push for PRO Act Provisions in Reconciliation Bill

Play

Friday, October 29, 2021   

HOUSTON -- Even before last year's election, President Joe Biden expressed his support for unions. Now it is up to Congress to decide if laws protecting union workers will be included in the long-awaited reconciliation bill.

The Protecting the Right to Organize Act (PRO Act) was approved by the House but blocked in the Senate. Some elements are nonetheless included in the reconciliation bill.

Robin Johnson, representative for state legislation for the Communications Workers of America (CWA) Local 6215 in Texas, said the Act would ensure a greater level of fairness.

"As Texans, no matter our race, where we come from or what jobs we have, we deserve the right to have a voice at work," Johnson asserted. "We can improve the lives of Texans by coming together and demanding better. Forming a union is what coming together looks like in the workplace."

As written, the PRO Act would set penalties for employers who retaliate against workers who organize. The U.S. Chamber of Commerce argued the bill would undermine workers' rights, ensnare employers in unrelated labor disputes and disrupt the economy.

Dan Mauer, director of government affairs for the CWA, disagreed with the Chamber's assessment, saying the expansion of employees' power could be good for business growth.

"It's been harder and harder for workers to organize," Mauer explained. "If we want to rebuild the labor movement and in turn rebuild the middle class, we've got to make sure that those issues get corrected."

Sara Walling, senior campaign lead for the CWA, believes it is time legislation better protected those people most vulnerable to discrimination and employer abuse, including the LGBTQ-plus community.

"When workers who are LGBTQ, or women workers, or Black and brown workers have a voice at the table, they're much more likely to have their concerns heard and met," Walling contended.

Walling added the PRO Act could invigorate the labor movement, where currently only 6% of private-sector workers are in unions, the lowest level in a century.

Disclosure: Communications Workers of America contributes to our fund for reporting on Human Rights/Racial Justice, and Livable Wages/Working Families. If you would like to help support news in the public interest, click here.


get more stories like this via email
Sen. Kyrsten Sinema, D-Ariz., was elected to the U.S. Senate in 2018 to fill the seat previously held by Republican Jeff Flake. (Flickr)

Social Issues

A wave of new Arizona voters in the 2020 election changed the normally conservative state to one where progressive candidates and ideas have a fightin…


Environment

The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers plans to use federal funds for a project to help keep invasive carp out of the Great Lakes. It is proposing using …

Environment

As Pennsylvania continues to grow its solar-energy capacity, a new report found the roofs of big-box stores present a big opportunity to increase …


While such issues as tax cuts are getting attention in the Iowa Legislature, some advocacy groups hope policymakers don't lose sight of programs they say would improve health outcomes. (Adobe Stock)

Social Issues

If Iowa wants to create healthier outcomes for its residents, advocates say there are steps policymakers can take right now to make it happen…

Social Issues

North Dakota has returned a significant portion of the rental assistance provided by the federal government in the pandemic, and groups working …

The investigation by multiple states' attorneys general into the student-loan practices of Navient dates back to 2017. (Adobe Stock)

Social Issues

Nearly 1,200 Hoosiers are about to have some of their student-loan debt forgiven, as part of a multistate settlement with the student-loan-servicing …

Social Issues

After a defeat on Wednesday, Democrats in the U.S. Senate say they'll keep trying to pass voting-rights legislation, and one Wisconsin group wants …

Social Issues

Bridgeport is one of six U.S. cities selected for an 18-month project kicking off this month, to create more education and career opportunities for …

 

Phone: 303.448.9105 Toll Free: 888.891.9416 Fax: 208.247.1830 Your trusted member- and audience-supported news source since 1996 Copyright 2021