Rep. Andy Levin Floor Remarks on the PRO Act
Congressman Andy Levin, vice chair of the House Education and Labor Committee, tonight made the following remarks on the House Floor in support of the Protecting the Right to Organize Act (PRO Act):
I have spent most of my career helping workers form unions and bargain collectively. The power of workers to unite and demand fair wages, better benefits, and safer working conditions is truly inspiring, and it’s essential for working families simply trying to get by.
Right now, corporate profits are skyrocketing while the share of health care costs paid by employers is falling. Worker productivity is at its peak, yet wages are stagnant. The gap between the rich and the poor is the highest ever recorded.
It should be no surprise that while all this is happening, union membership is at its lowest point in decades. The PRO Act is about reversing these trends so workers can enjoy their fair share in the economy that they help create.
Recent studies have shown that in cities where union membership is strong, children in low-income families go on to ascend to higher income levels than their parents. Isn’t that what every parent wants?
Creating a pathway to a better life – that is the American dream, and that is the power of a union.
58 million Americans say they would join a union if given the opportunity. 58 million! 48% of non-union workers. Just think of the impact we could have simply by making it easier for Americans to exercise the rights they already supposedly have under the law—rights that have been undermined systematically by special interests that want to keep the economy working for the very wealthiest at the expense of the vast majority of Americans.
The PRO Act is about that most American of ideals: freedom. All we are doing today is allowing workers to decide on their own, free of harassment and intimidation, whether or not they wish to form a union and bargain collectively, and to access their other rights under the NLRA.
When we pass the PRO Act today, we say loud and clear that we are not on the side of the special interests. We stand proudly on the side of working families.