NEW YORK — Big Labor recently concluded a ''National Week of Action'' to push the Protecting the Right to Organize Act. This pro-PRO Act thrust climaxed on May Day, fittingly enough for this left-wing bid to undermine the hard-fought freedom from mandatory unionism.
In support of Democrats’ latest Big Labor con job, AFL-CIO’s PRO-Act Toolkit is a marvel to behold and, frankly, something from which conservatives could learn plenty. Hate the union bosses and their collectivist cause, but love their comprehensive approach to grassroots action. This includes: talking points, an order form for banners, placards and stickers; five sample letters to the editor, a guide for discussion leaders, background graphics for Zoom calls and much more.
Big Labor’s agitation and propaganda talents merit the right’s grudging respect. Regardless, the left’s beloved PRO Act deserves to sink in the U.S. Senate.
''Let’s be clear,'' states one AFL-CIO sample letter to the editor. ''Right to work is wrong. The PRO Act will wipe it off the map.'' Biden and the Democrats want to demolish a woman’s right to choose ... whether or not to join a union. The PRO Act does not discriminate. The same holds for men.
This should startle 172 million Americans in 28 right-to-work states. Their freedom to be employed without mandatory union membership or fees is anchored in democratically enacted statutes. The PRO Act would annihilate this hard-won liberty and, instead, expose 331.5 million Americans to compulsory unionism.
Of course, what the PRO Act’s fans oppose isn’t just wrong or mistaken. Naturally, it’s racist! ''Right to work is a Jim Crow relic that was specifically designed to keep White and Black workers apart, playing on our worst fears to keep working people divided, poor, and weak,'' AFL-CIO asserts. Conversely, the union-über-group has enshrined the PRO Act in its Temple of Identity Politics. ''This isn’t just any bill — it’s civil rights legislation, protecting women, immigrants, people of color, and the LGBTQ community,'' AFL-CIO chants.
The PRO Act should be especially worrisome for solopreneurs. This bill would take California’s disastrous Assembly Bill 5 and impose its absurd, meddlesome and failed text on all 50 states. In short, artists, drivers, editors, musicians, writers, technicians and other gig workers who perform services for companies would find it difficult to impossible to prove that they are self-employed. The PRO Act would force their clients to hire them as full-blown employees, pay them salaries, and declare their wages on IRS W-2 forms.
This is far too expensive for most companies. In fact, an April 16 Alignable survey of 6,732 business owners found that only some 16 percent would hire independent contractors full-time. Forty percent would decline outside work or leave internal tasks unfilled and, in so doing, jettison the sole proprietors who serve them.
The PRO Act typifies Democrat-leftists’ condescending belief that they know what’s best for people, even better than the people themselves.
Most contractors savor the freedom and independence that accompany that status. When I wanted to ski Winter Park, Colorado, for three days last month, I skied Winter Park, Colorado, for three days. Full stop.
Other independent contractors work harder on some days or weeks, all the better to share other times with family, friends and lovers. Some 44 million Americans (28.4 percent of the work force, Gallup estimates) are self-employed. This includes roughly 22 million independent contractors (14.4 percent of workers). The last thing we need is Democrats and their blessed PRO Act to convert us into employees with fixed hours, workplace rules and nosey bosses. And we certainly do not need our clients to decide that paying us full time is too expensive and, instead, condemn us to poverty.
Democrats: Stop ''helping'' us!
As Americans focus increasingly on election integrity, the PRO Act rushes in the wrong direction. This bill would limit secret ballots in union-certification elections. Instead, it would expand unions’ use of ''card-check'' polling, in which labor bosses would knock on workers’ doors and muscle them into approving prospective unions. These cards are not secret. And what about those who resist? Well, wouldn’t it be sad if something happened to their pretty, little car tires?
How would union heavies find such employees? The PRO Act would require companies to hand their staffers’ private information to union organizers, even without their permission. This would include employees’ personal phone numbers and home addresses. Let the junk calls and door knocks begin!
''The PRO Act is everything union officials have thought of to increase their power over workers and capital since 1947, all rolled into one piece of legislation,'' warns National Right to Work Committee President Mark Mix. ''Everything about this bill is designed to empower and enrich union bosses at the expense of rank-and-file workers’ individual rights.''
Among the PRO Act’s pitfalls, Mix notes, it would legalize now-prohibited, union-led secondary boycotts against targeted companies’ customers and suppliers. ''Think: Bakery gets no flour,'' Mix tells me.
Mix also observes that the PRO Act ''allows illegal immigrants to sue employers.'' Perfect for the Biden era! Surge border, invade America, get job, sue boss. Rinse. Repeat.
The Pro Act offers much, much more to offend, disgust and terrify anyone who supports individual liberty and human dignity. Additional shocking details are available at StopTheProAct.com — a U.S. Chamber of Commerce initiative.
''The PRO Act would threaten worker privacy, force employees to pay union dues or lose their jobs, and trample free speech rights,'' said Chamber president Suzanne Clark. ''The Chamber will fight to ensure this wish list of union-sponsored priorities fails in the Senate and never becomes law.''
Republicans and conservatives have differed with the Chamber over the years, given its willingness to cooperate with Democrats where possible. But the Chamber also rows to the right, as it did robustly when it supported President Donald J. Trump’s Tax Cuts and Jobs Act and his dramatic deregulation campaign. The Chamber also is battling H.R. 1, the Democrat-left’s Blitzkrieg against election integrity.
The PRO Act is yet another fine mess in the making, courtesy of today’s Marxian, neo-totalitarian Democrat Party. Conservatives, Republicans, the U.S. Chamber and freedom-loving allies from coast to coast must join forces to torpedo this legislation.
Friends don’t let friends watch the PRO Act get signed into law.
Deroy Murdock is a Manhattan-based Fox News Contributor, a contributing editor with National Review Online, and a senior fellow with the London Center for Policy Research. Bucknell University’s Michael Malarkey contributed research to this opinion piece. Read Deroy Murdock's Reports — More Here.
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