Op-Ed: In Opposition of the PRO Act

By Grafton deButts, VP of Membership & Government Affairs, Loudoun County Chamber of Commerce

One of the greatest threats to America’s economic recovery and future growth is currently being debated in Congress. The PRO Act, a bill which seeks to undermine workers’ rights to privacy and free association, would create a one-size-fits-all rewrite of labor laws in 50 states, hurting workers across the United States, including here in Loudoun County.

First, the PRO Act would eliminate Right-To-Work laws in all states, ending the sacred protection of a worker’s freedom to choose to join a union or not.  Repealing Right-To-Work would force employees to either pay union dues or be fired, whether they wish to be represented by the union or not.

The PRO Act would undermine the will of Virginia’s electorate, who have elected Republican and Democratic majorities to the General Assembly in Richmond, majorities that have consistently protected Virginia’s Right-To-Work laws by wide margins. Virginia is currently one of 27 that kept their Right-To-Work status for their citizens and workforce.

Secondly, if passed, the PRO Act would eliminate an employee’s fundamental privacy rights when voting in favor or against joining a union.  Union leaders continually seek to bring intimidation and coercion to the workplace by singling out employees that oppose union membership.  Protection from voting intimidation and a right of privacy are cornerstones to fair democratic elections in our Nation.  Shouldn’t the same rights be present in the workplace?

Lastly, The PRO Act unfairly targets independent workers in the “gig” economy.  Per surveys by Small Business Labs and Gallup, more that third of all working age adults, or roughly 59 million citizens, are independent contractors or “gig” employees. These Americans would lose the right to independence and flexible scheduling, and the work-life balance that goes with it.  Employers would be forced to take on overhead and other expenses go up, limiting the resources they have for employees’ salaries and force cost increases on customers.

In Loudoun County, where average home sales and rental rate exceeds what the average household can afford, secondary jobs such as driving for Uber or picking up occasional jobs on Task Rabbit are critical. In addition, many talented professionals prefer to work from home as independent contractors in numerous industries, providing them the flexibility to care for their children or other family members.

Any law which would limit secondary job opportunities while increasing the costs of goods and services to the customer is a “lose-lose” for our community and our workers.

The Loudoun Chamber will continue to urge our nation’s lawmakers, particularly U.S. Senators Mark Warner and Tim Kaine, to oppose the PRO Act and protect our economy as we seek to recover from the lost jobs and income as a result of the pandemic.

3 thoughts on “Op-Ed: In Opposition of the PRO Act

  • 2021-05-26 at 11:40 am

    Well, Chamber folks. You backed Democrats in the last election and now you got what you paid for. Congratulations.

  • 2021-05-27 at 8:15 am

    The “PRO” Act is, in reality, ANTI worker. Its primary goal is to strengthen the position of Labor Union management.

    I agree with the previous poster’s sentiment, though. Local business leadership supported these (D)s. Ensured that MASSIVE amounts of money flowed directly and indirectly to their election campaigns. And now they aren’t happy with the result. LOL

  • 2021-05-28 at 10:21 pm

    Dealing with unions for over 25 years and the destruction of right to work laws is the least of a business’ problem. It may actually back fire and cause those silent employees to actually react and vote “NO”. All too often during organizing campaigns I hear employees say I’m not getting involved. I tried to explain to them that they are involved whether they like it or not.

    The bigger concern is the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) which is supposed to be an impartial 3rd party. Keep in mind that NLRB employees are union members, I’ve even had an NLRB shop steward tell that while she is a shop steward she is still impartial, she was not happy when I laughed at that comment. The NLRB is nothing more than the unions’ enforcement agency.

    The NLRB will back and support any legislation that assists unions. Federal judges give deference to the NLRB because of the NLRB’s expertise in labor law and the judge’s lack there of. The court never considers the NLRB’s blatant bias because they are of course the government. The NLRB being impartial is the second biggest lie behind we’re the government and we’re here to help.

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