FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
February 4, 2021
Contact: Steve Smith 510-326-4644
California Workers Plan a Big Mobilization to Secure Bill’s Passage in Congress
Statement by California Labor Federation Executive Secretary-Treasurer Art Pulaski
With the Introduction of the Protecting the Right to Organize Act (PRO) Act, federal lawmakers today set a course to revitalize America’s economy by reclaiming the rights of millions of workers to stand together and negotiate a fairer deal with their employers. The wealthy and powerful have controlled the economy in their favor for too long while working people have been losing ground. For decades we have had to work much harder, put in longer hours and take on more jobs just to try to keep up. At the same time, the rich and powerful got much, much richer off the fruits of our labor.
This landmark bill is crucial to the future of California’s economy. When super-wealthy gig corporations spent almost a quarter-of-a-billion dollars to pass Prop 22 last year, hundreds of thousands of Californians instantly lost their hopes for a decent job. By that one act, employers like Uber, Lyft, DoorDash and others crushed the right of their employees to stand together for a fair wage.
The PRO Act would simply reestablish the rights of gig workers and many others to create a union for themselves in order to negotiate for decent wages and employee protections. In addition to cracking down on the misclassification of workers, which eliminates basic protections of law, the PRO Act would stop pernicious corporate tactics that crush any attempts by the workforce to organize.
By creating new pathways for workers to stand together on the job, the PRO Act strikes at the heart of growing income inequality that especially threatens women, immigrants and people of color.
Billionaire CEOs are already marshalling their resources to fight the PRO Act in an effort to retain the status quo that has allowed them to grossly expand their fortunes at the expense of working people. To combat their big-money campaign, working people in California and across the nation will mobilize in a big way to ensure lawmakers are hearing the voices of those whose lives would be improved by having a union on the job. We call on every member of the California Congressional delegation, Democrat and Republican to co-sponsor this historic legislation to reform outdated labor laws that work against those most vulnerable in our economy.
The PRO Act charts a new course for California and America. A course that puts working people at the helm of the ship with the freedom to control their own destinies. We strongly urge Congress to pass this groundbreaking bill and for President Biden to live up to his promise to working people by signing it into law.