Rep. Andy Levin Advocates for and Votes to Pass PRO Act in Education and Labor Committee
Congressman Andy Levin, a longtime union organizer and vice chair of the Education and Labor Committee, today helped to pass landmark labor law reform out of committee. Congressman Levin rebutted attacks against and advocated for the Protecting the Right to Organize (PRO) Act, the most comprehensive legislation in recent history to strengthen workers’ right to organize and bargain for higher wages, better benefits, and safer working conditions.
The bill contained an amendment authored by Congressman Levin that gives workers the freedom to conduct their elections offsite, free from employer coercion.
Read Congressman Andy Levin’s opening remarks at the PRO Act Markup below:
I am so proud to be an original cosponsor of the PRO Act and to have this chance to speak in support of the Amendment in the Nature of a Substitute. Thank you, Mr. Chairman, for your leadership on this bill that will do so much for the working people of this country.
I have spent most of my career as a union organizer and know first-hand the transformative power that comes with the ability to organize. Right now, way too many people are working two or three jobs and 12 to 14-hour days just to make ends meet. Income inequality is at historic levels and working people are suffering in an unfair economy that favors the ultra-rich.
One way to level the playing field is to restore unions to the organizing force they once were – before special interest-funded attacks crippled union membership. The PRO Act is the vital, urgent solution we need that will result in higher wages, safer working conditions and a fairer economy for all.
The PRO Act restores decades-old promises made to working Americans that they can come together to advocate for better wages, safer workplaces, and the basic human dignities that all workers deserve.
It will prevent employers from stonewalling workers’ right to organize. And it will tackle one of the biggest threats to workers’ rights in recent memory: so-called “right-to-work” laws.
The evidence is clear: these laws have resulted in substantially lower union membership in every state where they have been passed. This has reduced wages and benefits for all employees and silenced workers by suppressing organizing efforts.
Meanwhile, the purported justification for these laws – promoting economic growth – has proven bogus. Studies have shown that there is zero correlation between “right-to-work” laws and increased employment, manufacturing, or attracting new employers.
I came to Congress to raise the standard of living of working people. This bill is going to do that.