WASHINGTON – Representative Josh Harder’s (CA-10) legislation to protect workers from employers who threaten them for unionizing passed the House yesterday as part of the Protecting the Right to Organize (PRO) Act. The PRO Act is designed to protect workers from unfair wages, substandard benefits, and dangerous work conditions. Currently, the National Labor Relations Act (NLRA) legally prevents employers from intimidating their employers, but the punishment for violating the law amounts to a slap on the wrist. Rep. Harder’s legislation gives the NLRA teeth and allows the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) to financially penalize violators up to $50,000.
“It’s no coincidence that as union membership has declined, so have wages and benefits for American workers,” said Rep. Harder. “I’m proud to stand with our brothers and sisters in Labor – workers have a right to unionize and my legislation protects them from corrupt CEOs.”
“For far too long, corporate CEOs have taken advantage of a rigged system to deny working people their fundamental right to stand together in a union,” said Tim Robertson, Executive Director, North Valley Labor Federation. “Outdated labor laws and aggressive corporate anti-union campaigns are responsible for diminishing the power Valley workers have in our economy, making the American Dream even harder to achieve. The PRO Act – strengthened by Rep. Harder’s amendment – gives working people a fair shot to join unions so they can negotiate better wages, decent benefits and stronger safety measures on the job. Valley workers deserve every opportunity to get ahead so they can build a better future for their families. We appreciate Rep. Harder’s leadership in fighting back against union-busting.”
The NLRA prevents employers from intimidating workers considering the formation of a union. However, the punishment for violating the law is incredibly weak. Offending employers are simply required to post a notice admitting to anti-union tactics “in conspicuous places” or otherwise notify it’s workers and promise not to engage in the illegal tactics again. It also does not impose stricter penalties on employers who repeatedly violate the law.
Recently, one offending company, Barstool Sports, was only required to delete a series of tweets and remove anti-union material. Rep. Harder’s legislation would allow the NLRB to assess a fine of up to $50,000 on the company.
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