Congresswoman Frederica Wilson

Representing the 24th District of Florida

Wilson Statement on the Passage of the Protecting Workers’ Right to Organize Act

Mar 9, 2021
Press Release

Washington, D.C. – Congresswoman Wilson issued the following statement on the passage of the Protecting Workers’ Right to Organize Act:

“Tonight, the U.S. House of Representatives once again passed the Protecting Workers’ Right to Organize Act. I am proud to have been an original lead sponsor of this landmark legislation each time it has passed and hopeful that it will soon pass in the Senate.

“During my tenure as chair of the Education and Labor’s Subcommittee on Health, Education, Labor & Pensions, I chaired three hearings on the PRO Act that highlighted both sides of this issue. We heard from Richard Trumka, the renowned president of AFL-CIO, and frontline workers, such as auto industry worker, Cynthia Harper, who was prevented from organizing a union after getting injured on the job and losing colleagues due to a lack of safety law enforcement at her plant. Truck driver Josue Alvarez shared how misclassification had adversely affected his family’s financial security. These and other testimonies reaffirmed my commitment to fight for the right to organize. Without their hard work and sacrifices, the businesses that oppose unions would not be able to thrive. When they are unwilling to do the right thing, Congress must act.

“Unions are engines of economic mobility and have for generations protected American workers and supported a strong middle class. Unfortunately, weak labor laws, employer opposition, and political attacks have driven union membership to historic lows.

“We need strong unions now more than ever. Through collective bargaining, workers can negotiate fair wages, benefits, and workplace protections. They also help prevent discrimination based on race, gender, or sexual identity. In addition, unions advocate well beyond their membership to ensure that all workers can achieve economic mobility, which is particularly important now as workers and families struggle to rebuild their pre-COVID-19 lives and livelihoods.

“During the first seven months of pandemic, the nation’s 614 billionaires grew their wealth by a combined $931 billion, while millions of workers experienced record-high unemployment. The PRO Act will not only restore fairness in the workplace, but also will help the nation rebuild a strong middle class, which is key to a strong economy. By passing this critical legislation, we can help ensure that all workers receive higher wages, better benefits, and safer working conditions.

“The Protecting the Right to Organize Act protects the basic right to join a union by:

  • empowering workers to exercise their right to organize;
  • holding employers accountable for violating workers’ rights; and
  • securing free, fair, and safe union elections.

“As a former member of the United Teachers of Dade, I have experienced first-hand the benefits of union membership. And, as a widowed mother of three young children, the good dental and health insurance and adequate sick leave that I received, as a result of the union’s hard-fought negotiations and contracts, made a world of difference. Every family should have access to the same level of security.”