Yesterday, thanks to the tireless work of CWA members and a broad coalition of labor, civil rights, environmental, religious immigrant rights, and women's groups, the U.S. House passed the Protecting the Right to Organize (PRO) Act, historic legislation to make it easier for workers to join a union.
“The voices of America's working people are finally being heard,” said CWA President Chris Shelton. “Members of Congress are starting to understand that the reason our economy has left so many families behind is that corporations have bent labor law to their will. The PRO Act restores balance to our system by putting power in the hands of working people. It will make it much easier for workers to join a union, and crack down on the dirty tricks that companies use to make workers afraid of taking collective action to improve their lives.”
On Wednesday, Jennifer Womack, who has worked at a Verizon Wireless call center in Irving, Texas for the last three years and has been organizing with her coworkers to join CWA, spoke at a press briefing hosted by House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and House Committee on Education and Labor Chairman Bobby Scott how the PRO Act would help her and her coworkers.
Womack described how after she and her coworkers started discussing forming a union at Verizon Wireless, the company began forcing them to attend mandatory anti-union meetings, sometimes pulling workers they suspect may support organizing into those trainings at a moment’s notice.
“Those trainings terrified a lot of people,” Womack said. “Eventually, I asked our CEO about this at Verizon's shareholder meeting. But after that happened, my work life got even worse. The company isolated me from my co-workers and some people I was close to were afraid to even talk to me. This retaliation makes it very difficult for workers to form a union if we want to.”
The Senate has not yet taken action on the bill, and the Trump administration has indicated that the President would veto the bill.