09.24.2019 0

Out-of-touch Democrats push destructive forced unionization bill

By Richard McCarty

Since gaining control of the U.S. House, Democrats have clearly demonstrated that they are not fit to govern. While one might have assumed that gaining a bit of power would have caused them to behave more responsibly, that has not been the case at all. When Congressional Democrats are not busy ignoring the nation’s problems or scheming to overturn the result of the 2016 presidential election, they are pushing radical legislation that shows how just out-of-touch they are. Case in point, Democrats are supporting the Protecting the Right to Organize Act of 2019 forced unionization bill or PRO Act, which would empower and enrich union bosses while disempowering workers and killing jobs.

Here are a few of the PRO Act’s destructive provisions:

  • The legislation would essentially overturn Right to Work laws in more than two dozen states and force private sector workers to pay fees to a union – even if they adamantly oppose the union – just to keep their jobs.
  • It would force employers to hand over workers’ contact information, including home addresses, phone numbers, and email addresses. Workers would have no choice in the matter, and union organizers could use this information to harass workers until they agreed to sign a union card.
  • It would expand the definition of employee to include more independent contractors thereby disrupting the gig economy and endangering jobs.
  • It would make national franchising companies, such as McDonald’s or Holiday Inn, responsible for the actions of employees of individual franchisees. This would disrupt the franchise industry and endanger more jobs as franchising companies sought to minimize their potential liability.
  • It would require that unionization elections occur quickly. By minimizing the amount of time that employers have to make their case against unionization – and the amount of time that undecided workers would have to make up their minds – unions gain an unfair advantage.
  • It would also impose harsher penalties on employers who violate the National Labor Relations Act while leaving the current penalties in place for unions who violate the same law.

Democrat support for the PRO Act is overwhelming. There are now 208 Democrat cosponsors of the House version of the bill, H.R. 2474. What that means is that over 87 percent of the House Democrat caucus supports the PRO Act. House cosponsors include House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer, current presidential candidates Tulsi Gabbard (D-Hawaii) and Tim Ryan (D-Ohio), former presidential candidates Eric Swalwell (D-Calif.) and Seth Moulton (D-MA), and over half of the supposedly centrist Blue Dog Caucus. There are now 40 liberal Senate cosponsors: 39 Democrat and one Independent. In other words, over 87 percent of the liberal Senate caucus (which includes two Independents) supports this bill. Senate cosponsors include Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.), current presidential candidates Cory Booker (D-N.J.), Kamala Harris (D-Calif.), Amy Klobuchar (D-Minn.), Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.), and Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.), and former presidential candidate Kirsten Gillibrand (D-N.Y.).

The good news is that not one single Republican supports the disastrous PRO Act and that it will not be enacted this year or next; the bad news is that it could pass as soon as 2021, if the elections go poorly next year. Regardless of whether the legislation ever passes, the PRO Act shows that the Democrat Party has grown radical, and voters and donors need to accept this fact. In particular, investors and businesspeople need to recognize that these policies are bad for the economy. So even if they are liberal socially, they are voting or donating against their own interests when they choose to support them.

Richard McCarty is the Director of Research at Americans for Limited Government Foundation.

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