House approves a major expansion of labor rights

The House voted 225-206 Wednesday night to pass a broad labor rights bill aimed at making it easier for workers to organize and give them greater rights to collective bargaining in labor disputes.

Driving the news Five Republicans joined Democrats in favor of the Right to Organize Protection Act.

Yes, but: The bill is likely to stall in the Senate, where it needs 60 votes to pass, but many Republican senators are opposed.

  • A different version of the bill also passed the Democratic-controlled House last year. It was not taken over by the Senate.

Details: The legislation would also lower so-called “right to work” laws in more than two dozen states that allow employees to waive participation and pay union dues.

  • The law would prohibit employers from using their employees’ immigration status against them when negotiating their employment.

What they are saying: President Biden backed the bill on Tuesday, saying in a statement that it would “dramatically increase the power of workers to organize and collectively bargain for better wages, benefits and working conditions.”

  • “As America works to recover from the devastating challenges of a deadly pandemic, an economic crisis, and a recognition of race that reveals deep disparities, we need to summon a new wave of worker power to create an economy that works for all.”
  • The other side: The National Retail Federation has called it “the worst bill in Congress.”
  • Meanwhile, the US Chamber of Commerce has said the bill would “undermine workers’ rights, trap employers in unrelated labor disputes, disrupt the economy, and force Americans to pay union dues regardless of their status. wishes”.

The panorama: The PRO Act would restrict companies like Uber and Lyft from classifying workers as independent contractors and improve protections for workers’ right to strike, according to the Economic Policy Institute.

  • Biden in early March said he supported a union vote by Amazon warehouse workers in Alabama that, if passed, it would be the first Amazon warehouse to unionize.


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