The House just passed major legislation designed to expand and empower unions, and yes, it got several Republican votes.
With no major labor reform since the 1930s, Democrats are seizing on the opportunity to strengthen workers' rights -- including their ability to unionize.
On Tuesday, the House of Representatives passed the PRO (Protect the Right to Organize) Act, the most pro-worker labor reform in decades, according to the bill’s sponsors, by a vote of 225-206. Though it faces an uphill battle in the 50/50 split Senate, President Joe Biden has said that labor reform is one of his administration’s top priorities.
As a Presidential candidate, Biden stressed that he’d be “the most pro-union president you’ve ever seen.” Last week, while Amazon workers gathered in Alabama to vote to unionize, Biden called it “a vitally important choice.”
"As America grapples with the deadly pandemic, the economic crisis and the reckoning on race — what it reveals is the deep disparities that still exist in our country,” Biden said on Twitter. “I urge Congress to send [the PRO Act] to my desk so we can summon a new wave of worker power and create an economy that works for everyone.”
The PRO Act would strengthen workers’ right to strike for better wages and working conditions, strengthen safeguards to ensure that workers can hold fair union elections, and allow the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) to impose fines against bosses who violate workers’ rights.
The House passed a version of the bill last year, but it was dead on arrival in the Republican-controlled Senate. This time, Republicans are all but certain to filibuster the legislation that many major business groups oppose. The Chamber of Commerce says it would “destabilize America’s workplaces and impose a long list of dangerous changes to labor law.”
The PRO Act will never survive the filibuster, but the point is to bury the lie that Republicans are the party of the "working class" or even the white working class by making Senate Republicans vote to kill the strongest labor union laws since the New Deal.
Ideally of course it's supposed to make Joe Manchin and Kyrsten Sinema flip on getting rid of the filibuster, too.