USW Applauds House Passage of Workers’ Rights Bill

Contact: R.J. Hufnagel, rhufnagel@usw.org, 412-562-2450

PITTSBURGH (Feb. 6) – The United Steelworkers (USW) union today lauded the bipartisan passage of the Protecting the Right to Organize (PRO) Act in the U.S. House of Representatives and called on the U.S. Senate to quickly pass the legislation to expand workers’ rights.

“Workers have the right to join together to improve their lives on the job, and the PRO Act will make sure that fundamental right is protected,” said USW International President Thomas M. Conway. “Too often, companies bully and intimidate workers to keep unions out and face little to no punishment, even in cases when they break the law.

“Under the PRO Act, companies will face real consequences for their behavior, and workers will be able to choose for themselves - without interference - whether they want to join a union.”

The bill (H.R. 2474), introduced last year by Rep. Bobby Scott of Virginia, would represent a major step forward for workers’ rights and would restore a number of protections in the National Labor Relations Act of 1935, which corporations and anti-union lawmakers have slowly eroded over the years.

“For too long, we’ve seen workers’ wages stagnating and benefits being cut, while productivity, corporate profits and CEO pay keep increasing,” said Eduardo Placencio, a member of USW Local 937, who attended today’s vote and whose local is engaged in an unfair labor practice strike against Tucson, Ariz.-based mining company Asarco. “This is no accident. The PRO Act will reverse these trends and help rebuild the American middle class.”

The House passed the bill by a vote of 224 to 194. Sen. Patty Murray (D-Wash.) introduced the Senate version of the legislation (S.1306) in May.

“So many politicians in Washington, including President Trump and members of the Senate, got elected by promising to stand up for workers,” Conway said. “Now we will find out if that was all just talk. The Senate should quickly pass the PRO Act, and the president should sign it. It’s time to take some of the power out of the hands of corporate America and Wall Street and give it back to working Americans.”

The USW represents 850,000 men and women employed in metals, mining, pulp and paper, rubber, chemicals, glass, auto supply and the energy-producing industries, along with a growing number of workers in public sector and service occupations.

Press Inquiries

Media Contacts

Communications Director:
Jess Kamm at 412-562-2446

USW@WORK (USW magazine)
Editor Jim McKay

For industry specific inquiries,
Call USW Communications at 412-562-2442

Mailing Address

United Steelworkers
Communications Department
60 Blvd. of the Allies
Pittsburgh, PA 15222