Tell Tucker Observer – PRO Act would fundamentally alter America’s workplaces

Derrick Holland. Photo provided to Tucker Observer

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Dear Tucker Observer,

America’s labor market is clearly experiencing a major transition. Between the rise of “gig economy” jobs, the “great resignation,” and other disruptions related to the pandemic, workers have more flexibility and the ability to make more money than ever before.

Unfortunately, legislation in Congress could dampen this blossoming economic mobility. The Protecting the Right to Organize Act (or PRO Act) would fundamentally alter America’s workplaces in ways that limit employee freedoms and restricts their choices.

The bill is designed to make it easier for unions to organize workers, even if workers choose not to join a union at all. It would nullify all state right-to-work laws, requiring potentially millions of Georgia workers to pay almost a $1,000 per year in union dues, despite the heavy toll inflation is already taking on their wallets. It would also eliminate secret ballot union elections in favor of elections in which all votes would be public. This could subject employees to threats and intimidation.

I am particularly concerned about how the PRO Act would affect independent contractors. The law would reclassify many of these workers – ride share service drivers, freelance content creators, and other entrepreneurs – as employees, likely eliminating thousands of jobs.

General contractors have relied on seasonal and contract laborers for generations. That’s because development projects start and stop on strict timelines, are of varying sizes, and require different disciplines for different phases. How would the PRO Act affect our business? Would it require us to turn, say, carpenters into full-time employees? That business model won’t work. It would drive up the cost of development projects, thereby slowing economic growth and costing jobs.

Our business is part of the community and we have a proud tradition of supporting our partners and contractors with family-sustaining contract agreements. The PRO Act will shatter that tradition. I hope Georgia Senators Raphael Warnock and Jon Ossoff will oppose the PRO Act and all of its provisions.

– Derrick Holland

Managing Director, Trinity Partners

Tucker, GA

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