You may or may not have heard of the Protecting the Right to Organize (PRO) Act, but even if you have, there’s a solid chance that you don’t know what this cursed piece of legislation does in full. In short, it effectively hands the American working class over to the Unions, whether you want to be in a Union or not.
The House pushed the PRO Act through in a rush in order to take advantage of a crisis that Democrats didn’t want to go to waste. It was a rush job because, as per the usual, they’d rather many Americans not know what politicians in Washington are doing to them.
But what does it do? Akash Chougule of The Hill summarized this terrifying piece of legislation well in an article he released on Monday:
The PRO Act would upend more than 70 years of established law to achieve its singular goal of tilting the playing field in favor of union organizers, against workers, employers, and the economy as a whole. It would do so by making dozens of significant changes, including banning right-to-work. Right-to-work is the law in 27 states, allowing workers to decide for themselves whether to join and pay a union, and creates a significant economic advantage including greater employment growth and higher cost-of-living adjusted income. The PRO Act would force tens of millions of workers to pay for union representation they do not want or need.
Additionally, the PRO Act would codify the so-called “ABC” test to narrow independent contracting, overnight threatening the livelihoods of tens of millions of freelancers who enjoy their flexibility by reclassifying them as “employees,” subjecting them to collective bargaining and all the rigidity and costs that a union brings. This same language was codified in California’s Assembly Bill (AB) 5 and eliminated the careers of tens of thousands of workers. The PRO Act would do the same nationwide amid a pandemic during which millions have relied on the entrepreneurial opportunity that independent contracting allows.
Moreover, the PRO Act would levy costly fines on businesses if they so much as accidentally misinterpret the ABC test. A small business and its owner could each be hit with a fine of as much as $100,000 — more than enough to shut down a mom-and-pop shop and bankrupt a small business owner.
Let’s break this down.
We in America have the ability to become independent contractors or “freelancers.” These freelancers have the ability to take contractual jobs offered by businesses without becoming an employee of said business. A corporation may want a bit of programming done for their website or maybe even a piece of art created for branding purposes. Instead of hiring someone as an employee and providing all the 401k and health benefits they would normally need to, a freelancer is paid flat cash for their work, and once the work is done, the contract is fulfilled, the freelancer and business can part ways.
The PRO Act forces freelancers to fulfill a nearly impossible list of qualifications in order to be considered independent contractors. It’s nearly impossible on purpose, because if and (more likely) when you fail the test, you’re effectively forced into a union where you will have to pay union dues.
I’ll give you one guess as to what that union will do with the massive influx of cash it will receive, but I’ll give you a hint: there will be a lot of reciprocal back-scratching. That’s not to mention the insane amount of padding union leaders will do to their own bank accounts.
If, for any reason, a business contracts with anyone who doesn’t qualify as an independent contractor, they’ll be torpedoed with fines. This effectively will ward off any business from taking the chance of hiring anyone for contract work, and force them to work within the safe confines of the government-approved unions.
This union would also be given access to a lot of your personal information whether you want them to have it or not, including your address, phone number, email, etc. Why would unions need your personal info? The better to intimidate you with, my dear.
As AFL-CIO President Richard Trumka flat-out told the House Education and Labor Committee in 2019, they need that private info so that people who decide not to fall in line with the union can be confronted “at their home” and “at the grocery store.” You will effectively be intimidated into compliance by a union you never wanted to be a part of, and it’s all thanks to the PRO Act.
More people than you think are independent contractors. Uber drivers, photographers, translators, truckers, and many journalists are all contract workers. We use our skillset to work when and where we want to either because it’s our preferred lifestyle or because it allows us to make additional money on the side, money that’s often needed to stay afloat.
Effectively, the PRO Act is a massive job killer. We know that because the PRO Act already exists in a form in California under the name AB5.
AB5 is also a gig economy killer that, according to conservative estimates, wiped out over 1 million jobs overnight within the state of California with few exceptions. Now expand that to the entirety of the United States and you have a staggering number that would make the mountainous 11,000 jobs killed after the cancelation of the Keystone XL Pipeline look like a molehill.
The PRO Act is being sold to the American people as a piece of legislation that “protects workers’ rights” but that couldn’t be further from the truth. It empowers unions that have their own agendas and are mired with corruption. You will effectively be put at the mercy of these unions which are so tied to the Democrat Party that they might as well be synonymous.
Democrats will attempt to push this through the Senate, but it should be made clear to every Senator, both Democrat, and Republican, that the PRO Act needs to die a quick death.