A bipartisan group of Congressional members has reintroduced the Protecting the Right to Organize (PRO) Act in the 118th Congress. This iteration, however, has been renamed to honor late AFL-CIO president Richard Trumka—a past proponent of the legislation. 

Versions have been introduced in both the House of Representatives and the U.S. Senate. The House version is being touted by Rep. Bobby Scott (D-VA) and Rep. Brian Fitzpatrick (R-PA), while new Senate HELP Committee Chair and avowed democratic socialist, Bernie Sanders (I-VT), is sponsoring the companion bill in the Senate. 

“The PRO Act will protect American workers and ensure that employers are held to fair standards. This landmark legislation will promote tremendous progress for workers’ empowerment and the economy,” said Rep. Fitzpatrick said in a press release. “I’m proud to support this legislation that bolsters American workers’ right to organize.”

Upon first glance, the new PRO Act isn’t a major departure from the previous bill introduced during the 117th Congress. This version similarly calls for abolishing right-to-work legislation by giving workers “the power to override so-called “right-to-work” laws that prevent unions from collecting dues from the workers they represent.” The one-page explainer also mentions the bill would resort to forced reclassification to close “loopholes in labor law that erode workers rights.” The bill proposes an ABC test to determine a worker’s status and defaults to classifying workers as employees over independent contractors. Another troubling aspect of the bill, among other things, is to give union bosses unfettered access to private worker information under the guise of employer transparency. 

This stands in stark contrast to House Resolution 72, which I recently highlighted here at IWF: 

By 2027, half of the U.S. workforce is slated to partake in some form of independent contracting—full-time, part-time, or occasionally. That’s worthy of celebration. This trend stands in sharp contrast with forced reclassification efforts like California Assembly Bill 5 and copycats pending in Illinois.

This resolution, if enacted, would act as a bulwark against Congressional efforts like another push for the Protecting the Right to Organize (PRO) Act and forthcoming Labor of Department rules changes that would limit independent contracting opportunities. 

As more Americans relocate to one of the 28 right-to-work states and take up freelancing, the PRO Act would imperil the future of work. 

To learn about independent contracting, go HERE.