WASHINGTON, DC – House Majority Leader Steny H. Hoyer (MD) spoke on the House Floor this afternoon in support of the H.R. 842, the Protecting the Right to Organize (PRO) Act of 2021. Below are his remarks as prepared for delivery.
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“Madam Speaker, as we work to create jobs and build our economy back better, we need to make sure that the jobs that are available to Americans help them get by and get ahead. That’s why Democrats passed the PRO Act last year and why we will do so again today.
“One of the most important tools for workers to secure better pay and benefits is the right to organize and bargain collectively. That right was secured over the course of generations by workers who fought to have that right recognized and secured. Collective bargaining made possible the prosperity and upward mobility that was a hallmark of America in the twentieth century.
“Strong unions lead to better pay, higher quality and more affordable health care, more secure retirement benefits, and workplaces that are safer – not just for union members but for all workers. Unfortunately, in the twenty-first century, the right to organize has been eroded and weakened. As a result, many workers are stuck with no recourse to demand the better pay and benefits they deserve – or they are subject to poor working conditions that are harmful to their health and safety.
“The PRO Act would change all of that, empowering workers once again through their right to organize. It prevents management from misclassifying workers in order to avoid negotiating the fair pay and safe working conditions they deserve. Moreover, the PRO Act levels the playing field for labor unions in contract negotiations. At the same time, this legislation will ensure that the National Labor Relations Board is on the side of workers, which had been the opposite under the Trump Administration.
“I want to thank Chairman Scott of the Education and Labor Committee for his hard work on this bill, as well as the Members of his Committee. I am proud that Democrats strongly support this bill, which is so central to our effort to make opportunities more accessible and more broadly available to American workers as we look to rebuild our economy stronger after COVID-19.
“As I said last year when we passed this bill, the PRO Act is the workers’ rights legislation that working people in our country need and for which they have been waiting for far too long. That’s why we need to pass this bill today and send it to the Senate. So, I urge a ‘yes’ vote for our workers, for our families, for our economy, and for our effort to build back better and stronger from the challenges we now face.”