BAC Statement on the Reintroduction of the PRO Act - Vital Legislation for BAC Members and All Working Families
[Washington, D.C.] – The International Union of Bricklayers and Allied Craftworkers (BAC) strongly supports the reintroduction of the Richard L. Trumka Protecting the Right to Organize Act (PRO Act), H.R. 20. We commend the leaders on Capitol Hill who are making this vital worker legislation a priority during the 118th Congress, including ranking House Minority Leader Hakeem Jeffries (D-NY), Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-NY), Senate Appropriations Committee Chair Patty Murray (D-WA), Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions Chair Bernie Sanders (I-VT), Congressmembers Bobby Scott (D-VA) and Brian Fitzpatrick (R-PA).
BAC is proud of our partnership with our signatory employers across the United States to provide vital building and construction services to the communities we live in. However, our members, and just as importantly the contractors that hire them, are forced to compete with unscrupulous developers and employers that take advantage of the lack of legal protections for workers in the United States, and minimal enforcement ability for the laws that are in place. These employers intentionally violate the law because penalties are so weak low road employers simply view them as a minor cost of doing business. The Pro act strengthens penalties for such behavior to deter employers from interfering with workers’ rights.
The Pro Act will also address the misclassification of employees – a practice that runs rampant in the construction industry. Changing the definition of “employee” under the National Labor Relations Act (NLRA) will significantly pressure employers to stop gaming the system and incorrectly categorize an employee as an “independent contractor” or “supervisor.” The legislation will ensure workers are able to properly exercise their rights and get the pay and benefits they deserve, while putting revenue back into local communities by stopping employer tax evasion.
If passed, the PRO Act will also remove limitations on secondary picketing and strikes, as well as limitations on recognitional picketing. This will allow union brothers and sisters to exercise their First Amendment right to stand in solidarity with fellow construction workers fighting for their own rights and benefits at the same jobsite.
“Our economy is out of balance, and it is time for Congress to step up to protect working class families, and restore economic stability,” said BAC President Timothy J. Driscoll. “We urge all members of Congress to support the PRO Act and put the US economy back on track for all Americans.”