Let's Pass the PRO Act

Here's what you need to know this week:

It's no secret that workers' rights are always under attack. From privatization at the local level to corporate court decisions at the top, it may seem like we only ever have bad news to share. However, a chance for change is in the works.

In May, members of the House and Senate introduced the Protecting the Right to Organize (PRO) Act. As this legislation currently stands, it would be the most comprehensive overhaul of workers' rights at the national level in recent history. In an age of rampant income inequality where CEOs make around 300 times as much as the average worker, legislation like this could help bring some degree of fairness into the economy. Here are just a few of the things the PRO Act would do:

- Allows the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) to issue fines for each violation in which a worker is wrongfully terminated or suffers serious economic harm, as well as the ability to hold corporate officers liable

- Bans employers from requiring workers to attend anti-union meetings leading up to a union election, and gives the NLRB the power to require the employer to bargain if it makes an election impossible

- Removes prohibitions on workers acting in solidarity with workers at other companies, solidifies federal protections for "intermittent" strikes, and prohibits companies from permanently replacing striking workers

- Closes a loophole in federal law that allows employers to misclassify employees as supervisors or independent contractors

These are only a few of the long list of protections workers would receive if this act were passed (get the full fact sheet HERE). It's important that we don't let this lose momentum, as something this comprehensive is unlikely to pass until more pro-worker candidates are elected in 2020. Even then, such an advance for workers will likely gain heavy opposition from corporate interests.

What can we do now? The AFL-CIO is asking that we contact our members of congress and ask them to cosponsor the PRO act. This keeps the legislation in our conversations and builds a more solid base of support for moving it forward in the future. Most importantly, though, none of this can happen unless we get involved in the process and bring our sisters and brothers with us. 

Here's what's coming up:

- Young workers mark your calendars. In two weeks, our Florida Future Labor Leaders (FFLL) chapter will be holding their July general meeting. The meeting will take place at 6PM on Thursday, July 25th at Teamsters 79 (5818 E Dr Martin Luther King Jr Blvd, Tampa). FFLL is the official voice for young workers in our CLC and the Florida AFL-CIO, and all young or early career workers are invited to attend. RSVP HERE

As a reminder, our council will be screening candidates for St Petersburg City Council elections on Saturday, July 27th. Screenings will be held at NALC 1477 (5369 Park Blvd N, Pinellas Park) at 9AM. This is a nonpartisan race, and questionnaires have been sent out to ALL candidates in the races being screened. We hope that all locals will send delegates to participate.

Keep in Mind:

We're still looking for feedback on our union member survey, so be sure to fill it out and share it around if you haven't already. It won't take more than a few minutes, and it will provide us with valuable insight as to how we can best fight for you.

CLICK HERE to take the survey.

This survey is intended only for members of affiliated unions of the West Central Florida Labor Council.

That's all for this week! Follow us on Facebook and Twitter for more updates. If you would like to receive text message alerts from the Florida AFL-CIO (Msg & data rates may apply), text FLUNION to 235246!

In Solidarity,

West Central Florida Labor Council

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