Rep. Cisneros Votes to Protect and Strengthen Workers’ Rights

February 6, 2020
Press Release

WASHINGTON, DC – Today, Representative Gilbert R. Cisneros, Jr. (CA-39) voted to protect and strengthen workers’ rights. The House of Representatives passed H.R. 2474, Protecting the Right to Organize (PRO) Act, a bill aimed at strengthening workers’ power to form a union and negotiate for bigger paychecks, better benefits, and safer working conditions. Rep. Cisneros is an original cosponsor of the PRO Act.

This bill is the most significant upgrade to U.S. labor law in 80 years and is a direct response to the struggle that many hardworking families are facing to keep pace with the rising costs of education, child care, housing, and other basic essentials.

“While big corporations and the top one percent are getting ahead, hard-working Americans are getting left behind. Decades of anti-worker attacks have eroded the middle class and weakened our unions. It’s outrageous that American families are working too hard for too little,” said Rep. Cisneros. “When workers have the power to stand together and form a union, they have higher wages, better benefits, and safer working conditions. As an original cosponsor of the PRO Act, I’m proud to join my colleagues in passing this bill and strengthen workers’ rights. It’s far past time we build an economy that works for everyone.”

Research consistently shows that workers who are represented by unions earn higher pay, have safer workplaces, and are more likely to have employer-sponsored healthcare and retirement plans. But, after decades of attacks on workers’ right to organize funded by wealthy special interests, just ten percent of American workers are union members, the lowest rate on record.

The decline in union membership has coincided with a rise in income inequality. Over the past three decades, as union density declined from its peak of more than 30 percent in the 1970s, the average income for the bottom 90 percent of families stayed the same, while average incomes for the wealthiest one percent nearly doubled.

In response to the continued anti-labor attack funded by wealthy special interests, the PRO Act makes comprehensive and necessary changes to protect and strengthen workers’ rights.

The PRO Act:

  • Introduces meaningful, enforceable penalties for companies and executives that violate workers’ rights;
  • Protects and expands workers’ power to stand together and negotiate for bigger paychecks, better benefits, and safer working conditions, and closes loopholes that corporations use to exploit workers; and
  • Strengthens workers’ access to fair union elections and requires corporations to respect the results.

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