March 2, 2023
Independent Women’s Voice, which fights to enhance people’s freedom, choices, and opportunities, strongly opposes the Richard L. Trumka Protecting the Right to Organize (PRO) Act of 2023 (H.R. 20) as anti-woman and anti-worker.
The PRO Act has many provisions that would tip the scales in favor of unions at the expense of workers. For example, the PRO Act mandates that workers in unionized professions pay union fees even if they aren’t members and would effectively undo Right-to-Work laws protecting workers in 28 states from being fired if they choose not to join a union. It would also require employers to disclose workers’ private information, such as home addresses, personal phone numbers, and email addresses, to union organizers.
Another provision would require that independent contractors be reclassified as traditional employees unless they meet very strict conditions, threatening flexible work nationwide. Women in the U.S. today enjoy unprecedented work opportunities. This includes flexible work arrangements that allow them to control their own schedules and balance their desire to work with raising children, caring for family members, and managing their own health challenges. The PRO Act would destroy these opportunities just as a similar law, Assembly Bill (AB5), has done in California, and push workers back into an antiquated, union-dictated 9-to-5 work world.
AB5 took effect in California on January 1, 2020 and sets strict limitations on independent contractor work. Tens of thousands of contract jobs have been eliminated throughout the state, leaving many workers–particularly women, low-income and disabled workers–struggling to make ends meet.
A 9-to-5 schedule no longer fits how millions of Americans prefer to work. For many women, who often value flexibility even more than men do, AB5 and the PRO Act force a binary choice between working and not working, potentially pushing many women out of the labor force altogether. This is a harmful policy that would take our economy a giant step backward.
America was founded on freedom. We should all be free to pursue work and our own vision of happiness. The PRO Act threatens these core principles. We urge all Senate and House members to reject the PRO Act when it comes to the floor for a vote.
Center for Economic Opportunity