The PRO Act Is Critically Important. But We Should See It as Just a Good Start.

Photo by Adam Schultz

October 06, 2023


See original article on the Jacobin

Earlier this year, a wave of high-profile strikes ushered unions back into the national spotlight. But as the United States’ so-called “hot labor summer” gives way to an equally enthusiastic fall, we must contend with the reality that while union activity is higher than it’s been in years, union density remains dismally low. The share of employees who belong to unions has been falling for decades and reached an all-time low of 10.1 percent in 2022. The share in the private sector was even lower — at just 6 percent.

In the last few years, organized labor has coalesced around the Protecting the Right to Organize (PRO) Act as a way to restore union density and, with it, worker power. The PRO Act aims to be a comprehensive reset of US labor law, making it easier for workers to organize and maintain their unions. Previous iterations failed to advance, in part because of the Senate filibuster. The act was reintroduced this year as the Richard L. Trumka Protecting the Right to Organize (PRO) Act of 2023 and made its way out of committee in June.

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