Coalition Letter in Opposition to the “PRO Act”

By at 16 September, 2019, 9:41 am

60+ Groups to Congress: Defend American Workers from Union Coercion and Oppose the PRO Act

Dear Member of Congress,

We are writing in opposition to the Protecting the Right to Organize (PRO) Act. Senator Patty Murray and Congressman Bobby Scott introduced the PRO Act in the Senate (S. 1306) and House of Representatives (H.R. 2474) on May 2, 2019.

We oppose the PRO Act because the legislation would harm workers and taxpayers by codifying many of the Obama-era rules and decisions that led to higher unemployment and a stagnant economy. Representatives who vote for this bill are simply helping labor union bosses, their campaign contributors, at the expense of American workers.

For example, one of the Act’s harmful provisions would codify the National Labor Relations Board’s 2015 Browning-Ferris Industries decision. That decision expanded the definition of joint employer and increased liability for many businesses, especially franchises. In fact, the International Franchise Association has found that the expanded joint employer rule costs the franchise sector as much as $33.3 billion annually and has led to 376,000 lost job opportunities. Codifying this NLRB decision would effectively eliminate this business model, putting many employees and small businesses out of work. However, big labor would benefit from this provision because they could unionize these employees more easily.

This bill would also force all private sector workers to pay fees to labor unions, whether they wanted to support them or not. This would effectively invalidate all state Right-to-Work laws and would deny First Amendment rights to these workers. This provision hurts workers because right-to-work laws have benefited workers. From 2008 – 2018, for example, the percentage growth in the number of people employed in right-to-work states was 10.8%, while the percentage for those in forced-unionism states was much lower at 5%. Invalidating these laws would, therefore, hurt workers and employers, but would provide more dues to unions.

Another business model that is severely threatened by this legislation is the gig economy. The PRO Act would codify California’s new “ABC” test to determine who is an independent contractor and who is an employee. This test makes it harder for employers to hire independent contractors, but makes it easier for unions to unionize workers. According to the Federal Reserve, about 3 in 10 Americans work in the gig economy, and these workers would be at risk for losing their jobs.

One final example is the provision that would codify the Obama-era ambush elections rule. That rule shortened the time frame of an election to unionize workers and provided the contact information of workers without their consent to labor unions. This rule harmed workers by providing them with an inadequate amount of time to learn how unionization would affect them. In addition, unions would be able to violate the privacy of workers once they had their contact information. Once again, with a shortened time frame and the contact information of workers, labor bosses could more easily unionize these workers.

Because the legislation harms workers in order to help labor union bosses, we strongly urge Members of Congress to vote against the PRO Act.


Grover G. Norquist
President, Americans for Tax Reform

James L. Martin
Founder/Chairman, 60 Plus Association

Melodie Bowler, Associate Director, Alaska Policy Forum

Phil Kerpen, President, American Commitment


Lisa B. Nelson

CEO, ALEC Action


Tom Giovanetti

President, Americans for a Strong Economy


Rick Manning

President, Americans for Limited Government


Scot Mussi

President, Arizona Free Enterprise Club


John Palatiello

President, Business Coalition for Fair Competition


Garrett Ballengee

Executive Director, Cardinal Institute for WV Policy


Andrew F. Quinlan

President, Center for Freedom and Prosperity


Timothy Lee
Senior Vice President of Legal and Public Affairs, Center for Individual Freedom


Olivia Grady

Senior Fellow, Center for Worker Freedom


Catrin Wigfall

Policy Fellow, Center of the American Experiment (Minnesota)


Bob Luebke
Director of Policy, Civitas Institute (North Carolina)


David McIntosh

President, Club for Growth


Russell Hollrah

Executive Director, Coalition to Promote Independent Entrepreneurs


Nathan Benefield

Vice President & COO, Commonwealth Foundation (Pennsylvania)


Trey Kovacs

Policy Analyst, Competitive Enterprise Institute


Matthew Kandrach

President, Consumer Action for a Strong Economy (CASE)


Tom Schatz

President, Council for Citizens Against Government Waste


Katie McAuliffe

Executive Director, Digital Liberty


Grant Callen

President, Empower Mississippi


Peter J. Ferrara

Dunn Liberty Fellow in Economics, The King’s College

Senior Fellow, Heartland Institute

Senior Fellow, National Tax Limitation Foundation


Brian Minnich

Executive Vice President, Freedom Foundation (California, Oregon, Washington)


Adam Brandon

President, FreedomWorks

Victor Riches

President and CEO, Goldwater Institute (Arizona)


  1. Scott Moody

CEO, Granite Institute (New Hampshire)


Tim Chapman

Executive Director, Heritage Action for America


Mario H. Lopez

President, Hispanic Leadership Fund


Fred Birnbaum

Vice President, Idaho Freedom Foundation and Idaho Freedom Action


Heather R. Higgins
CEO, Independent Women’s Voice


  1. Vincent Vernuccio, J.D.

President, Institute for the American Worker


Chris Ingstad

President, Iowans for Tax Relief


Sal J. Nuzzo
Vice President of Policy, The James Madison Institute (Florida)


Brett Healy

President, The John K. MacIver Institute for Public Policy (Wisconsin)


Becki Gray

Senior Vice President, John Locke Foundation (North Carolina)


Dave Trabert

President, Kansas Policy Institute


Connor Boyack

President, Libertas Institute (Utah)


Michael J. Reitz

Executive Vice President, Mackinac Center for Public Policy (Michigan)


Matthew Gagnon

CEO, Maine Heritage Policy Center



Carl Copeland

Executive Director, Massachusetts Fiscal Alliance


Jameson Taylor, Ph.D.

Vice President for Policy, Mississippi Center for Public Policy


Robert Fellner

Policy Director, Nevada Policy Research Institute


Douglas Kellogg

Executive Director, Ohioans for Tax Reform


Daniel J Erspamer
CEO, The Pelican Institute for Public Policy (Louisiana)


Lorenzo Montanari

Executive Director, Property Rights Alliance


David Y. Denholm

President, Public Service Research Council


Mike Stenhouse
CEO, Rhode Island Center for Freedom and Prosperity


Paul J. Gessing

President, Rio Grande Foundation (New Mexico)


Bette Grande

CEO, Roughrider Policy Center ND


Karen Kerrigan

President & CEO, Small Business & Entrepreneurship Council


Maureen Blum

Founder and Principal, Strategic Coalitions & Initiatives, LLC


Tim Andrews

Executive Director, Taxpayers Protection Alliance


Lynn Taylor

President, Tertium Quids (Virginia)


Christian N. Braunlich

President, Thomas Jefferson Institute for Public Policy (Virginia)



Carl Bearden

CEO, United for Missouri


Suzi Voyles

Georgia President for Eagle Forum

Georgia State Director for Maggie’s List


Rick Esenberg

President and General Counsel, Wisconsin Institute for Law and Liberty


Worker Rights Alliance (Washington)


Heather Greenaway

Executive Director, Workforce Fairness Institute


Carol Platt Liebau

President, Yankee Institute for Public Policy (Connecticut)

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