WASHINGTON, D.C. – Representative Adam Smith (D-Wash.) released the following statement following House passage of the Protecting the Right to Organize (PRO) Act, which would protect workers’ basic rights to join a union by empowering workers to collectively bargain, hold employers accountable for violating workers’ rights, and secure free, fair, and safe union elections.

“Over the last several decades, wages have not kept pace with the rising costs of education, child care, housing, and other basic necessities—a situation exacerbated by the pandemic and current recession. This is a direct result of state and local policies, and a lack of strong federal protections, that have enabled the assault on workers’ rights.

“Strong unions are one of the biggest and time-tested tools to combat economic inequality. I am proud to support the PRO Act, which will streamline the process for workers seeking to organize a union, protect employees from retaliation for collective bargaining, crack down on worker misclassification, and authorize meaningful penalties for companies and executives that violate workers’ rights.

“The COVID-19 pandemic has shown just how vulnerable workers are without the ability to collectively bargain for safe working conditions and fair wages and benefits. The PRO Act is the most significant upgrade to US labor law in 80 years. It is a giant step towards restoring a fair and equitable economy that protects workers’ rights to collectively bargain for better pay, benefits, and on-the-job safety.”

To learn more, you can view the PRO Act Fact Sheet here.