CWA News

Building Worker Power

When workers organize, mobilize, and strike together we can build power and win the wages, benefits, and working conditions we need and deserve. But that can be extremely difficult when our current laws keep the balance of power tilted in favor of CEOs and Wall Street.

When the 1% holds so much power, they take more money out of the economy for themselves while our wages stay stagnant, our working conditions get worse, and our economy stays rigged in favor of the wealthy. We need big change.

Two bipartisan pieces of legislation address the challenges that workers face when we  want to join together to improve our workplaces: the Protecting the Right to Organize (PRO) Act (H.R. 2474/S. 1306) and the Public Service Freedom to Negotiate Act (H.R. 3463/S. 1970).

The PRO Act is historic legislation that will put power in the hands of workers and reverse decades of legislation meant to crush unions. 

The PRO Act would:

  • Help strengthen protections for workers forming a union
  • Prevent the misclassification of workers as independent contractors and supervisors
  • Deal a blow to “right-to-work” laws
  • Expands impact of strikes and other protest activities by allowing secondary boycotts and strikes
  • Bans permanent replacement of striking workers.

 

Public service workers face unique challenges when they want to join a union. Their collective bargaining rights are not guaranteed under federal law. Instead, their ability to negotiate with their employer varies from state to state, and in many states they are banned from collective bargaining or are only permitted to bargain over a narrow set of issues. It is often illegal for public service workers to strike.

The Public Service Freedom to Negotiate Act addresses these problems. The bill would set a minimum nationwide standard of collective bargaining rights that all governmental bodies including states, counties and cities must provide, including:

  • The right to join a union selected by a majority of employees.
  • The ability to bargain over wages, hours and terms and conditions of employment.
  • Access to dispute resolution mechanisms such as mediation or arbitration.
  • The right to strike and engage in other collective action, with limited exceptions.
  • The ability to file suit in court to enforce their labor rights.
  • Voluntary payroll deduction for union dues.
  • Protection from rigged union recertification elections.

PRO Act Photos