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A ‘no’ vote on PRO Act favors free enterprise

Among other things, President Joe Biden called for passage of the “PRO Act” on Wednesday during his first address before a joint session of Congress.

The Protecting the Right to Organize Act, which the U.S. House passed by a narrow margin of 224-194 in March, is part of Biden’s American Jobs Plan, “a blue-collar blueprint to build America.”

What it really is, though, is a blueprint for government interference in the private sector and a threat to free enterprise.

The PRO Act would upend decades of established labor law and overturn Right to Work laws in Pennsylvania and 26 other states. Right to Work laws protect workers from being fired if they decline to pay union dues.

And that’s just the start of how this proposed pro-union legislation would weaken worker rights:

ö It would undermine the right to a private ballot during a union election.

ö It would force employers to supply unions with personal contact information on employees, including cellphone numbers and home addresses, even if employees object.

ö It would deny individuals the right to work independently and threatens a “gig” economy in which freelancers, consultants, independent contractors and temporary workers get paid by the job. This type of work arrangement has provided flexibility that has allowed American businesses of all sizes to grow.

ö It would allow unions to launch disruptive protests and pickets against any employer, even those that have nothing to do with a labor dispute.

ö It would impose mandatory union contracts if a union and employer do not reach an agreement and it would deprive workers of the right to vote on the conditions of their employment.

The National Association of Manufacturers conducted a survey in which 97 percent of respondents said the PRO Act would have a negative impact on their operations and damage relationships with workers.

It would be one more blow to businesses struggling to come out of the pandemic and get back on track.

In short, the PRO Act would harm workers, employers and the economy.

It is a terrible idea.

While big unions are pushing this idea, it is widely opposed by champions of the free enterprise system across the nation, starting with the Williamsport/Lycoming Chamber of Commerce here in our area and including the Pennsylvania Chamber of Business and Industry and the U.S. Chamber of Commerce.

We, too, are opposed to the PRO Act.

We call on Sens. Pat Toomey, R-Pa., and Bob Casey, D-Pa., to follow the lead of U.S. Rep. Fred Keller, R-Kreamer, and vote “no” when the PRO Act proposal comes up for a vote in the U.S. Senate.

It is time to take a stand on behalf of the American worker and the free enterprise system.

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