A bill to amend federal labor laws and expand guarantees for unionized workers is headed to the House next week. The Protecting the Right to Organize Act would introduce penalties for companies that discriminate against unionized workers, as well as an array of other measures to strengthen the power of unions. The bill, also seen as a counter to state-level “right-to-work” legislation, is unlikely to pass if brought to the current Republican-led Senate.
Kate Bronfenbrenner, director of labor education research and a senior lecturer at Cornell University's School of Industrial and Labor Relations, says that the bill must be paired with union efforts to build grassroot support.
“History has taught us that for sweeping labor law reform to be achieved it would need to be coupled with an equally intensive national effort to organize workers and to educate voters on why supporting protection of the right to organize was important to them.
“Now is the time for unions to focus on organizing and building support in the community. Labor law reform comes later.”