Embracing the PRO Act which is based on California’s controversial AB5 law, Biden’s Leftist agenda robs American workers their freedom to work how they want to work
Democratic presidential candidate Joe Biden’s campaign has been described as “moderate” and “center laning” on multiple issues. Compared with Vermont Senator Bernie Sanders, the description would be accurate.
Take healthcare, and Sanders’ “Medicare-for-All” single payer plan. Biden does not embrace the far Leftist agenda but supports the “public option” and lowering Medicare eligibility to age 60 (“Medicare-for-some”).
Similar techniques used on climate change, defunding the police (Biden opposes) and other Leftist/progressive wish list items.
But make no mistake about Biden, he has embraced a far Left position on workers’ rights, by stripping the American people of their freedom to choose how they will provide for their families and robbing the states to protect their residents’ right-to-work free from compelled participation in a labor union.
Biden wants to strip the 27 states (plus territory of Guam) of their right-to-work laws, while mandating workers to pay union dues even if they are not members of the union.
This is “socialism” because Biden wants to implement government control instead of Americans’ self-determination.
What is the PRO (Protecting the Right to Organize) Act?
Back on February 6, the House on a partisan vote, passed H.R. 2474, the Protecting the Right to Organize (PRO) Act. McHenry County’s two freshmen Democrats in the House, Congressman Sean Casten and Congresswoman Lauren Underwood, both voted in favor of it.
This short video from Congressman Dan Crenshaw (R, TX-02) gives a short (2 1/2 minutes) capsule view of the PRO Act:
If one was to pause the video at the 1:07 mark, references to the implementation of the California version of this law, known as Assembly Bill 5 (AB5) are highlighted, and Crenshaw clearly points to the many failures of AB5 and the damage it has done to freelancers, the gig economy and especially independent contractors.
Taking a deeper dive into the PRO Act in a mid January column is freelance writer and RedState Editor-at-large Kira Davis:
“H.R.2474 – benignly titled ‘The PRO Act’ was originally drafted in May of 2019 as a union-strengthening bill.
“In its infancy it had nothing to do with independent contractors and everything to do with thwarting the Janus decision.
“On its face the bill is a complete disaster and could have chilling repercussions for employers and small-business, including stripping employers of their ability to stay open during union strikes. If the only thing this bill pertained to were mediation and strike rules, it would be terrifying enough. We should all be amazed that the business community and Congress have allowed this to fly under the radar since last May.
“But this is government and with government there is never enough. Somewhere between September of 2019 and December of 2019 someone added an amendment to the behemoth employer-rights killer that was a simple copy and paste of California’s AB5. In fact, it is so awkwardly jammed into the text that it can be nothing other than a literal copy and paste.”Kira Davis RedState 1/17/20 with emphasis added
Joe Biden’s Policy Statement on Workers Rights
Relevant excerpts from Biden’s position paper “The Biden Plan for Strengthening Worker Organizing, Collective Bargaining, and Unions”:
“Biden will ensure employers respect workers’ rights. Specifically, he will:
“Hold corporations and executives personally accountable for interfering with organizing efforts and violating other labor laws. Biden strongly supports the Protecting the Right to Organize Act’s (PRO Act) provisions instituting financial penalties on companies that interfere with workers’ organizing efforts, including firing or otherwise retaliating against workers. Biden will go beyond the PRO Act by enacting legislation to impose even stiffer penalties on corporations and to hold company executives personally liable when they interfere with organizing efforts, including criminally liable when their interference is intentional.
“Aggressively pursue employers who violate labor laws, participate in wage theft, or cheat on their taxes by intentionally misclassifying employees as independent contractors. As president, Biden will put a stop to employers intentionally misclassifying their employees as independent contractors.”
Biden, later in his position paper, unloads on right-to-work laws 27 states have implemented, including all of Illinois’ neighboring states, except Missouri. As Crenshaw pointed out in the video, the PRO Act would effectively make all state right-to-work laws invalid, but Biden wants to take it further and prevent states from ever enacting right-to-work laws by repealing the Taft-Hartley provisions for states to enact laws protecting individual workers from union dues and membership being forced on them.
McHenry County Blog believes in full context and the link to Biden’s entire position paper on Workers Rights is at the end of this article under external references.
About California’s AB5
As documented on McHenry County Blog last month when Republican Mike Garcia won the special congressional election in the 25th congressional district of California, one of the significant issues that mattered to voters was AB5, and how voters reacted at the ballot box by electing Garcia over his Democrat assemblywoman opponent who voted for AB5 in Sacramento in 2019.
One would expect the Democrats to have learned their lesson concerning the unpopularity of AB5. But Biden’s union allies did not let up, and late last month, Biden tweeted the following in response to California voters’ initiative effort to repeal the AB5 law during the general election:
To which one of many vocal opponents to AB5 tweeted a few hours later:
A couple of days later, former presidential candidate and Biden surrogate Senator Elizabeth Warren tweeted the following to which Repeal AB5 Leader Lisa Rothstein responded with a 2-part tweet:
Do not read over the May 29 tweet response too fast and the freedom that was lost in California when AB5 became law on January 1:
“We demand our right to ‘classify’ ourselves.”
A couple of weeks later, after the racial unrest hit the country, Ms. Rothstein sent the following response in Twitter to another freelancer as a portend of things to come, possibly in the general election:
Joe Biden left no doubt he supports socialist agenda to eliminate freedom for workers to choose how they will work by having the government impose a law like California’s AB5 on a national basis while at the same time stripping over 27 states of freedom-protecting right-to-work laws.
Due in part to AB5, an issue with real consequences caused voters who are normally blue/Democrat voters to cross party lines and vote red electing Mike Garcia to Congress last month in CA-25.
Locally, both Sean Casten and Lauren Underwood voted for the PRO Act, which is the cornerstone of Joe Biden’s workers’ rights and labor policies. If local voters knew what was at stake, particularly independent contractors, freelancers and gig workers, will they still want to reelect Casten and Underwood, or vote for their opponents in Jeanne Ives and Jim Oberweis?
If the rest of the nation knew what was at stake with workers’ rights and freedom, will voters react negatively to House Democrats seeking reelection knowing the full impact of the PRO Act?
Time will tell, and McHenry County Blog hopes with the collection of these relevant facts for a significant issue facing our country, discernment will be applied and voters will cast informed votes this fall across the country.
Biden and the Democrats’ plan to rob individual Americans of their freedom for self determination in the workplace is “socialism” because Biden wants to implement government control.
- Joe Biden Position Paper: https://joebiden.com/empowerworkers/
- RedState 1/17/20 column: https://www.redstate.com/kiradavis/2020/01/17/767573/
- AB5 Facts by Kira Davis: http://www.ab5facts.com/
- Casten statement on PRO Act 2/6/20: https://casten.house.gov/media/press-releases/casten-votes-strengthen-protections-workers
Many of the opponents of AB5 use the term “lollipop”. This happened when a state senator in Sacramento used the term “lollipop” to describe the loss of independent contractors’ livelihoods. If Biden and his big Labor union allies get their way, will this be how the Democrats address us?