Sarbanes Votes to Expand Workers’ Rights and Protections

Congressman John Sarbanes (D-Md.) today voted to pass H.R. 2474, the Protecting the Right to Organize (PRO) Act, a bill to strengthen workers’ rights and help them negotiate higher salaries, stronger workplace protections and improved benefits. The PRO Act would also penalize companies, managers and corporate executives who violate workers’ rights.

“For far too long, wealthy special interests and big corporations have used their money, power and influence to call the shots in Washington and stack the deck against American workers,” said Congressman Sarbanes. “After decades of corporate attacks, the unionized workforce in America has contracted to its lowest rate in history and Americans are working longer hours for stagnant wages and diminished benefits. That changes today. The PRO Act will empower hardworking Americans by helping them negotiate better wages, more benefits and safer working conditions.”

Sarbanes continued: “For decades, the right to organize has helped workers share in the prosperity of our nation’s economic growth and success. We must restore this crucial right for American workers.”

Key provisions of the PRO Act include:

  • Expanding workers’ collective bargaining rights and closing loopholes that corporations use to exploit workers;
  • Introducing meaningful and enforceable penalties for companies and executives that violate workers’ rights; and
  • Strengthening workers’ access to fair union elections and requiring corporations to respect the results.