This week, JLF’s Jon Sanders wrote a research brief on the Protecting the Right to Organize (PRO) Act. The legislation has passed the United States House and would mark a serious turn in the association rights of workers – particularly in right-to-work states such as North Carolina. The bill is a mangled mess of previously attempted union legislation as well as measures that previously failed in courts of law. Sanders explains the consequences if this bill were to become law:

Among other things, the PRO Act would do the following:

  • Authorize private unions to collect “fair share” fees from nonmembers in a union shop — effectively ending the right to work and pumping unions full of cash, taken from people against their will
  • Force employers to give union organizers their employees’ private information, including their names, addresses, home and cell phone numbers, work and personal email addresses, work schedules, and work locations — removing obvious worker protections against intimidation
  • Require card-check elections in cases where unions lost the initial secret ballot election and protested — removing a vital worker protection against intimidation
  • Have a company that contracts for someone’s services to satisfy a new, three-part test to prove the independent contractor isn’t actually a company employee — wedging even more people into paying union fees against their will, as well as forcing companies to disemploy untold numbers of independent contractors and gig workers

This is only a sliver of the impacts the bill would have if it became law. Sanders writes:

It’s practically impossible to sum up the negative impacts this act would have on North Carolina. Removing right-to-work protections would force a massive wealth transfer from honest, hard-working North Carolinians and their families to politically connected unions. But that’s only one set of impacts…

The PRO Act would try to cram a 20th century model of collectivism and grift on a vastly advanced world. To enrich unions, it would ride roughshod over North Carolina law, stomping our rights to free speech and the fruits of our own labors. It would disrupt untold numbers of mutually beneficial relationships between entrepreneurs and companies. It would smother great ideas and innovation. It’s a terrible, freedom-wrecker of an idea.

Read the full brief here. Watch Isabel Soto from the American Action Forum discuss the PRO Act in this week’s recording of the Shaftesbury Society here.