House to Vote on Major Revamp of Nation’s Labor Laws

By Dan Yager posted 02-26-2021 13:59


House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer (D-MD) announced this week that the House will consider the Protecting the Right to Organize (PRO) Act (H.R. 842) the week of March 8.  The bill would upend labor relations in the most significant transformation of American labor law since passage of the National Labor Relations Act in 1935. 

Fast track to the House floor:  The House Democratic leadership is invoking a new rule, which allows immediate floor action without committee consideration on any bills passed in the previous Congress.  

Elimination of balance: The anti-worker, anti-employer provisions in the bill are numerous, including measures that would:

  • Eliminate workers’ private ballots in many if not most union elections;

  • Eliminate long-standing protections of neutral employers from being pulled into other employers' labor disputes;

  • Enable independent contractors to organize into unions;

  • Minimize the employer’s role in determining how a union representation election is to be conducted among its employees; and

  • Preempt state right to work laws.

For more information:  Here is a brief on four of the bill’s most objectionable provisions.

Outlook:  The bill passed in the previous Congress by 224 to 194, with five Republicans voting for the bill and seven Democrats voting against.  Despite the narrower margin in the current House, Democratic leadership would only have scheduled the vote if they were certain of having the votes to pass it.  Meanwhile, with the filibuster rule in place, the bill faces a nearly impossible road to getting the needed 60 votes to pass the Senate.  Instead, the Biden administration, which strongly supports the PRO Act, will seek to implement its provisions through NLRB decisions and federal contractor requirements imposed by executive order.