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New “PRO Act” Will Hurt Construction Workers, Undermine Their Privacy And Make It Hard For The Economy To Recover, Official Warns

February 4, 2021

Measure Denies Workers Absolute Right to Secret and Fair Union Elections, Forces Them to Become the Victims of Union Disputes, Will Unleash Strikes and Disruptions that Will Kill Jobs, Hurt Recovery

The Associated General Contractors of America’s chief executive officer, Stephen E. Sandherr, issued the following statement in reaction to the introduction in Congress today of the so-called “PRO Act”:

“The PRO Act is anti-worker, anti-privacy and anti-recovery. The measure threatens workers’ absolute right to a free, fair and secret union ballot. There is something fundamentally un-American about subjecting workers to intimidation and coercion when it comes to deciding whether and how to organize and seek representation at the workplace.

“By allowing secondary boycotts and other actions against firms that are not directly involved in labor disputes, the measure means many workers could be idled for a dispute where they do not stand to benefit. This would also put union construction firms at a competitive disadvantage, as owners seek firms less likely to be impacted by unrelated labor disputes.

“The measure also makes it extremely difficult for entrepreneurial workers to establish their own businesses by discriminating against independent contractors. These provisions will undermine many working people’s ambitions to establish their own firms and become self-employed.

“The measure also harms the tens of thousands of construction firms that choose to hire union workers. That is because the Pro Act undermines the collective bargaining process that has worked to successfully elevate construction workers into the upper ranks of the middle class for the past half century.

“More broadly, the PRO Act will unleash a new era of labor unrest and strikes that will make France look like the land of labor harmony compared to the U.S. It is hard to imagine how the country can build back better when work is idled, workers are unpaid and projects go uncompleted.

“We view this measure as a significant threat to the viability of the commercial construction industry, its long history of offering advancement and opportunity to all workers and its ability to rebuild our economy and revive our nation. That is why we will take every possible step to ensure that the “PRO Act” does not become law.”

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