OPINION: A phone call can help protect, grow our unions, support working families

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By ARIEH LEBOWITZ
Executive Director
Jewish Labor Committee 

Earlier this year, the House of Representatives passed the “Protecting the Right to Organize (PRO)” Act. And now, you can help, with just two phone calls.

The Jewish Labor Committee, with your help, is urging the Senate to pass this crucial legislation for workers in the United States, and send it to President Biden’s desk so he can sign it into law.

How can you help? Call your senators today and tell them to Pass the PRO Act! Just call the Senate Switchboard at 202-224-3121 – ask them to connect you with your Senator’s office.

Many of us are descendants of immigrants who came to this country seeking a better life. They worked in factories and sweatshops for long hours in dangerous conditions. They marched in picket lines and risked their lives so that they could organize Labor unions and collectively bargain for better wages, benefits, and a safer workplace. Because of their struggle, their children and grandchildren were able to go to college and achieve the American dream.

WORKERS NEED STRONG UNIONS
When unions were stronger in the United States, the middle class was strong, and the economy was strong and more equitable. All of this has changed over the last few decades:

  • Laws were passed – such as (the so-called) “right-to-work laws” – at the state and federal level that have weakened the right of workers to bargain collectively.
  • Employers have been able to violate the National Labor Relations Act with impunity by threatening and firing workers who attempt to form a union and by misclassifying workers as “independent contractors” so that they can deny them benefits and the right to organize.

As union density has declined, income inequality has widened, wages for most workers have stagnated and working families are finding it harder and harder to make ends meet.

Passage of the PRO Act would fix many of these problems. It would:

  • Guarantee millions of workers in the U.S. the right to form unions and join unions without fear of intimidation or retaliation.
  • Hold employers accountable when they violate workers’ rights.

AND IT’S POPULAR
The PRO Act is popular.

More than 60 million workers would vote to join a union if given the opportunity, and if roadblocks to doing so were removed.  Polls have also shown that unions currently have a 65 percent approval rating, the highest level in nearly 50 years.

Our values, history, traditions and teachings emphasize the dignity of all work and compel us to treat all workers with dignity and respect. The PRO Act does just that.

Please call your Senators and tell them to pass the PRO Act! Just call the Senate Switchboard at 202-224-3121, and ask to be connected with your Senator’s office.

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