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Air pollution linked to coal plants more deadly than previously thought; Israel-Hamas truce extends as aid reaches Gaza; high school seniors face big college application challenges.

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House Republicans differ on January 6th footage, Speaker Johnson says any Ukraine funding must include changes to border policy and former New Jersey Governor Christie says former President Trump is fueling anti-Semitism and hate.

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Rural low income youth, especially boys, experience greater economic mobility than those in cities, a new government rule should help level the playing field for small poultry growers, and the Kansas Governor wants her state to expand Medicaid.

Bill in Congress Targets Intimidation of Unionizing Workers

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Monday, January 13, 2020   

PORTLAND, Ore. -- The U.S. House has committed to voting on a comprehensive bill supporting union organizing before Presidents' Day.

The announcement comes after 68 representatives, including Suzanne Bonamici, D-Ore., sent a letter to the House leadership urging the lawmakers to bring the Protecting the Right to Organize (PRO) Act to the floor.

The bill contains a suite of reforms, including the elimination of right-to-work laws, rules prohibiting employers from delaying the negotiation of collective bargaining contracts and penalties for retaliating against union organizing.

"It's commonplace in private sector union organizing, in Oregon and across the country, that workers are intimidated, they're scared," says Graham Trainor, president of the Oregon AFL-CIO. "Employers use mandatory one-on-one meetings to intimidate workers from joining a union, and it really stacks the deck against the group of workers who want to see change."

The PRO Act has 218 cosponsors, with every Democratic Party House member in Oregon signing on except for Rep. Kurt Schrader.

While the bill's chances are good in the House, it's considered dead on arrival in the Senate. Trainor says it's still important for the House to vote on it.

"I recognize the political hurdles and challenges of today's bill and with today's Congress and administration, but that's not to say that this isn't a multi-year strategy," he states. "That's not to say that this shouldn't continue to be an issue that we press lawmakers to tackle in a really serious way over the coming years."

Trainor sees unions rising across the country, especially among young people. In 2017, more than three-quarters of new members were younger than 35.

And a 2018 poll by the Pew Research Center found nearly 70% of people ages 18 to 29 have a favorable view of unions.


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