As the nation was focused on the aftermath of the Senate impeachment trial acquittal of Donald Trump and the first contests in the Democratic presidential primary campaign in Iowa and New Hampshire, the House of Representatives won passage of a landmark bill for U.S. workers. By a vote of 224 to 194, the House passed the Protecting the Right to Organize Act or PRO Act.
The Pro Act (HR 2474) would remove many existing obstacles in the workplace standing in the way of workers who want to form and join labor unions. The legislation would also make it easier for unions to negotiate with employers to win contracts and impose penalties on companies that violate workers rights to organize and collective bargaining.
In 1983, unions represented 20 percent of the U.S. workforce, today membership has been cut in half to just 10 percent. As union membership has declined in recent decades economic inequality in the U.S has risen to its highest level in 50 years. Between The Lines’ Scott Harris spoke with Margaret Poydock, policy associate with the Economic Policy Institute who assess the importance of the House passage of the PRO Act, and the links between union representation and the economic health of America’s working families.
For more information, visit the Economic Policy Institute at EPI.org.