“PRO Act” Vote in U.S. House: A BIG Threat to Entrepreneurs, Workers and the Gig Economy

By at 6 February, 2020, 10:21 am


For Immediate Release

Washington, D.C. – Today, the U.S. House is expected to vote on the “Protecting Right to Organize Act” (PRO Act), H.R. 2474, and the nation’s leading advocacy group for entrepreneurs warns that the Democrat-sponsored and supported bill is all about deploying the coercive power of government to boost dwindling labor union membership at the expense of everyone else, especially small businesses and the gig economy. The Small Business & Entrepreneurship Council (SBE Council) delivered a letter to all U.S. House members opposing the legislation, and wrote that the PRO Act “reverses and destroys many positive attributes of working, living and pursuing opportunity in the modern economy.”

As noted in the letter signed by SBE Council president & CEO Karen Kerrigan, workers have rejected the costly labor union model and tactics still being used by labor bosses, as documented by the consistent decline in membership over the past 40 years: “But rather than find a new and innovative model that may align with modern practices and needs, labor bosses have packaged and peddled every bad idea that forces American workers to either join or subsidize labor unions – and every single one of those misguided and job-destroying ideas can be found in the PRO Act.”

Some of these intrusive government measures include: the ban of state right-to-work laws by permitting “fair share” fees, meaning all private sector workers would be forced to pay labor union fees; codifying the costly and business-destroying Obama-era joint employer rule, which undercuts and harms the successful franchise business model, and the ability of businesses to freely collaborate and work with each other, or to use (or for people to become) independent contractors; codifies California’s new “ABC” test (AB5), which residents are now rebelling against, as it is destroying livelihoods and businesses; codifies the Obama-era ambush elections rule, which shortens the time frame of union elections (to unionize workers) and would provide the personal contact information of workers to labor unions without employee consent. This is a gross violation of privacy.

In a tweet, Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) asserted that the bill will protect “Americans’ right to join a union,” but as noted by Kerrigan in her letter to the House, “The PRO Act is all about coercing Americans to join or subsidize labor unions through intrusive government measures. This heavy-handed legislative effort to bolster dwindling labor union membership through special (and highly intrusive) government support and action would come at the expense of small businesses, entrepreneurs and their workers, along with the flexibility, opportunity and innovative culture advanced by the gig economy.”

The “PRO Act” is going nowhere in the U.S. Senate. The White House issued a Statement of Administration Policy detailing the harmful impact of the legislation, which concluded: “If H.R. 2474 were presented to the President in its current form, his advisors would recommend that he veto it.”

Even though the PRO ACT will not threaten small businesses and the economy in 2020, many of its bad ideas are being pursued at the state level, and as noted by Kerrigan, “Several of the Democrat candidates for President are ‘all in’ on helping labor unions increase membership through the coercive power of government and the violation of worker privacy, as proposed by the PRO Act. This is an issue for entrepreneurs to raise awareness about during the election year so that small business owners and workers understand just what they are possibly getting into with a candidate who supports the PRO Act’s radical and intrusive measures.”

Related Content:

Small Business Insider blog post by Karen Kerrigan: “PRO Act” a BIG Threat to Small Business Workers, Entrepreneurship and the Gig Economy.


Karen Kerrigan, SBE Council president & CEO

SBE Council is nonpartisan advocacy, research and education organization dedicated to protecting small business and promoting entrepreneurship. For 25 years, SBE Council has worked on and advanced a range of private sector and public policy initiatives to strengthen the ecosystem for strong startup activity and small business growth. Visit @SBECouncil

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