Landmark Bill to Empower, Expand Unions Passes House after Golden Leads Call for Final Vote
WASHINGTON — Following a successful effort led by Congressman Jared Golden (ME-02) to bring the Protecting the Right to Organize (PRO) Act to the House floor, the House passed the legislation with a bipartisan vote late last night.
Passage of the PRO Act, the most comprehensive labor bill in decades, comes shortly after Golden attended the State of the Union address with Lewiston’s Chris Wiers. Wiers is President of IAM Local S6, the biggest union at Bath Iron Works, which represents more than 3,500 members.
“When workers organize and stand up for their rights, they get better pay and stronger benefits. Our unions in Maine are proof,” said Golden. “More Mainers need access to a good job with wages and benefits that will actually support a family, and empowering unions and workers is the best way to achieve those goals. That’s why I led the push last month to vote on the PRO Act, and why I’m proud to pass it through the House today.”
The PRO Act would expand protections for workers and toughen penalties for companies who violate labor laws and workers’ rights. The legislation would also make it easier to form new unions, empower workers to join a union without fearing retribution, and give them the ability to negotiate for better working conditions, higher salaries, and improved benefits.
The legislation has the support of Maine’s labor community.
“This is great news for Unions as we take great pride in our place in history as the man and women that helped build this great country. The passage of the PRO Act will allow a new generation the right to join a union without the fear and intimidation of losing their job. Everyone in this country deserves a say in their future and the freedom to choose to join a union.” - Dave Sullivan, Grand Lodge Representative, International Association of Machinists, Local 207
In January, Golden led 75 Members of Congress to push House leadership for a vote on the PRO Act. That day, Majority Leader Steny Hoyer announced that the bill would receive a vote.
You can read Congressman Golden’s letter here.
Find a fact sheet on the PRO Act here.
Read about Chris Wiers’ visit for the State of the Union address here.