Washington, D.C.—Today, the U.S. Senate Committee on Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions (HELP) holds a hearing entitled “The Right to Organize: Empowering American Workers in a 21st Century Economy” about the Protecting the Right to Organize Act (PRO) Act. The PRO Act would ban right-to-work laws in 27 states, compelling non-union workers to pay union dues, forcing employers to turn over  private contact information on non-union employees to unions—potentially exposing them to harassment—and could severely limit independent contractor work by reclassifying millions of workers as employees.

In response to today’s hearing on the PRO Act, Kelsey Bolar, senior policy analyst at Independent Women’s Voice (IWV), released the following statement:

“We heard plenty of pro-union talking points today, but Congress should not enact sweeping labor policy changes to appease this special interest. Private sector unions have been withering for decades because the American worker doesn’t want what union bosses have to offer. Workers, especially women, want flexibility, the freedom to be their own boss, and the power to negotiate the best compensation for their unique situations. The PRO Act works for organized labor, but against worker freedom.”  

“It cannot be overstated that the PRO Act may be tremendously harmful to employment opportunities for women. The impact of the PRO Act could be to rob them of critical income- earning opportunities that work around their schedules and their unique situations. Flexible work increases their choices and control over when, where, for whom, and how they work. This bill would undermine women’s employment, entrepreneurship and small businesses, setting them back even further than the pandemic has. The Senate HELP Committee should not pass this bill.”

Over 55 million workers in the U.S. engage in some freelance work whether parttime or fulltime. Nearly half of freelance workers are women. Independent contractors choose this work arrangement over traditional employment overwhelmingly for the flexibility. Women employed in the gig economy do so for flexibility and the majority would not want to become employees. The PRO Act would decimate flexible preferred opportunities for millions of workers across America. 

Independent Women’s Voice is running a nationwide campaign called Stop the PRO Act, and is driving constituents to contact their legislators and urge them to vote against the PRO Act.