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Join WSLC at PRO Act Appreciation Rallies

Union supporters will thank Cantwell, Murray and urge both to keep fighting to pass the PRO Act


The Protecting the Right to Organize (PRO) Act is the most important legislation in a generation to restore workers’ freedom to join together in unions. It has passed the House and President Joe Biden is urging the Senate to pass it as well so that he can sign it into law.

In Washington state, we are fortunate to have two outstanding U.S. senators who are strong supporters of this transformative legislation. So for the AFL-CIO’s National PRO Act Week of Action, the Washington State Labor Council, AFL-CIO is urging union members and community supporters to attend “PRO Act Appreciation Rallies” for Sen. Maria Cantwell at noon on Saturday, July 17 in Tacoma and for Sen. Patty Murray at noon on Monday, July 19 in Seattle. Union leaders and members at the rallies will be thanking them for their support and urging them to keep working hard to get the PRO Act across the finish line.

“Our labor laws are woefully outdated and no longer empower working people to have their voices heard,” said WSLC President Larry Brown, who will attend both rallies. “The National Labor Relations Act was passed in 1935, but it has been chipped away ever since. Now, forming a union is unacceptably difficult, and for some, it’s impossible. Studies have shown that 60 million Americans would join a union today if they could. The PRO Act is their chance to regain their freedom to choose a union. It’s time to pass the PRO Act and build back better with unions!”

TAKE A STAND — Let’s show Senators Murray and Cantwell that we appreciate their advocacy for Washington’s working families. We’ve written them and called them during the pandemic, but now that restrictions against public gatherings have been lifted, let’s show up in person to say THANK YOU for supporting the PRO Act and for working to get it passed!

Saturday, July 17 in Tacoma at noon outside Sen. Maria Cantwell’s office, 950 Pacific Ave. Suite 615

Monday, July 19 in Seattle at noon outside Sen. Patty Murray’s office at Seattle’s Federal Building, 915 2nd Ave.

BACKGROUND — Outdated labor laws are no longer strong enough to protect Americans in the workplace. High-profile corporations openly union-bust without facing consequences. Anti-worker lawmakers have passed wage-killing and racist “right-to-work” laws in 27 states. Inequality has skyrocketed as workers have been denied a voice on the job.

The PRO Act would change that. It’s the most significant worker empowerment legislation since the Great Depression, and it’s also a civil rights and economic stimulus bill. The PRO Act will:

●  Empower workers to exercise our freedom to organize and bargain.
●  Ensure that workers can reach a first contract quickly after a union is recognized.
●  End employers’ practice of punishing striking workers by hiring permanent replacements. Speaking up for labor rights is within every worker’s rights—and workers shouldn’t lose our jobs for it.
●  Hold corporations accountable by strengthening the National Labor Relations Board and allowing it to penalize employers who retaliate against working people in support of the union or collective bargaining.
●  Repeal “right to work” laws — divisive and racist laws created during the Jim Crow era — that lead to lower wages, fewer benefits and more dangerous workplaces.
●  Create pathways for workers to form unions, without fear, in newer industries like Big Tech.

“Inequality has skyrocketed because union membership has dwindled and policymakers have failed to pass pro-worker labor laws,” Brown said. ” The PRO Act is more than labor law reform, it’s civil rights legislation. A union contract is the single best tool we have to close racial and gender wage gaps, and to ensure dignity and due process for workers, regardless of where we were born, who we are or what industry we work in.”

The PRO Act passed the House on March 9 with bipartisan support, and President Biden has urged Congress to send it to his desk. But the U.S. Senate is the final obstacle, where no Republicans have declared their support of the bill and the body’s arcane filibuster rules requires at least 10 of them to do so.

Both of Washington’s U.S. Senators strongly support the PRO Act. Sen. Patty Murray is the legislation’s lead sponsor in the Senate and U.S. Maria Cantwell is a co-sponsor.

Among Washington’s delegation, Democratic Reps. Pramila Jayapal, Suzan DelBene, Rick Larsen, Derek Kilmer, Kim Schrier, Adam Smith and Marilyn Strickland — all co-sponsors of the bill — voted “yes” on the PRO Act. Republican Reps. Jaime Herrera Beutler, Dan Newhouse and Cathy McMorris Rodgers voted “no.”

CHECK OUT THE UNION DIFFERENCE in Washington: higher wages, affordable health and dental care, job and retirement security.

FIND OUT HOW TO JOIN TOGETHER with your co-workers to negotiate for better wages, benefits, and a voice at work. Or go ahead and contact a union organizer today!