WASHINGTON, D.C. – Representative Adam Smith (D-Wash.) released the following statement following House introduction of the Protecting the Right to Organize (PRO) Act – a bill he is an original cosponsor on – which would strengthen workers’ power to organize and negotiate for fairer paychecks, better benefits, and safer working conditions.
“Strong unions are paramount for combatting economic inequality and ensuring workers’ rights are protected. The PRO Act would be the most significant upgrade to U.S. labor law in 80 years which would strengthen workers’ power to organize and negotiate for fairer paychecks, better benefits, and safer working conditions.
“As income inequality continues to increase, only ten percent of American workers today are union members which is the lowest rate on record. Wages have not increased at the same pace as the rising costs of education, child care, housing, and other basic necessities, and this legislation is a direct response to the struggle that many hardworking families face, especially in a pandemic. This bill will help strengthen these unions, hold companies and executives accountable for working conditions, and close loopholes that corporations use to undermine the right to organize.
“The COVID-19 pandemic has further shown how vulnerable workers truly are without the ability to collectively bargain and how crucial it is to ensuring workers have better pay, benefits, and safety. After decades of attacks on workers’ rights to organize and profits off of rising income inequality, passing the PRO Act will take a giant step towards restoring a fair and equitable economy that empowers workers to hold companies and executives accountable for working conditions.”