Orlando, Fla. -- Gathering outside Representative Stephanie Murphy’s office in Orlando today, workers and community members called on Murphy to pass legislation to restore the balance of power between working families and corporations.
The Protecting the Right to Organize (PRO) Act (H.R. 2474) is historic legislation that will put power in the hands of workers and reverse decades of legislation meant to crush unions. The bill will update outdated American labor laws to protect strikes and other protest activities, make it easier to bargain union contracts, strengthen protections for workers who want to join a union, and prevent the misclassification of workers as independent contractors. The bill has 218 co-sponsors in the House of Representatives, but Rep. Murphy has not yet joined them.
Orlando labor and community leaders urged Murphy to support the bill.
“When I look at the list of PRO Act co-sponsors, I see Democrats, I see Republicans, but I don’t see Stephanie Murphy,” said Steve Wiesniewski, President of Communications Workers of America Local 3018 in Orlando. “Does she think that is is OK for corporations to have so much control over our lives? Would she rather see money go to wealthy corporate shareholders instead of to those of us who live, work and support our families right here in her district?”
Addressing the crowd, William Lawson, Field Representative for the Central Florida Central Labor Council of the AFL-CIO said, “Working families support the PRO Act and are asking Representative Murphy to stand with the thousands of union workers in her district and the hundred thousand more workers who want to join a union.”
Socorro Ramos-Avilés, Regional Coordinator for Poder Latinx, highlighted the barriers Latinx immigrant workers face when joining together to improve their working conditions. “We are fighting to ensure Latinx community are paid equitably, with access to healthcare, paid family leave, paid sick days, and healthy work environments,” said Ramos-Avilés. “But Latinx immigrant workers face double-obstacles in trying to unionize. Too many times, the bosses use the worker’s immigration status as threat or intimidation tactic. This is why we are here today urging Rep. Murphy to stand with her Latinx constituents and support the PRO Act.”