On April 15, Maine Senator Angus King signed on as a co-sponsor for S.420, the Senate bill for the PRO Act 2021.
The Protecting the Right to Organize Act (PRO Act) is a bundle of labor legislation that aims to make significant workplace reforms. But the plan, as it has been been laid out, could also have serious negative implications for freelancers on the scale of California’s AB5, which crushed the state’s freelance industries. Or, it could be worse.
King was viewed as one of five key holdouts on the bill.
In March, King’s spokeperson Matthew Felling told The Intercept that the senator was still deciding because he was interested in having conversations with Maine stakeholders and experts before making a decision.
Apparently, the outcome of those discussions pushed King in the supportive direction.
PRO Act 2021 Inches Closer to Vote
Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer has reportedly told the AFL-CIO, that he’ll bring the PRO Act 2021 bill to the Senate floor for a vote when it has 50 backers.
With King onboard there are now 45 cosponsors plus the backing of Senator Patty Murray of Washington who introduced the legislation.
So, this bill only needs four more backers to get its moment on the floor.
Holdouts & Supporters
The remaining four holdouts that supporters are hoping to win over are Kyrsten Sinema and Mark Kelly of Arizona, Mark Warner of Virginia and Joe Manchin of West Virginia.
For the AFL-CIO, getting the PRO Act passed is a priority because the legislation is designed to significantly boost the flow of money into unions and make them more powerful.
The AFL-CIO along with its affiliates are pushing hard to get more senators to sign on as co-sponsors.
According to Intercept, DSA, a socialist, labor-oriented nonprofit made over 100,000 phone calls in one night to voters in states represented by holdout senators.
That night, they filled up Sinema’s voicemail with messages in support of the PRO Act . The following Tuesday they did the same with Kelly’s voicemail, said Ryan Kekeris, communications director at IUPAT, an AFL-CIO affiliate.
“We plan on doing that really to every senator, but primarily to those who are not on the record yet with supporting the bill,” Kekeris said.
There are very active forces on the supporting side of this legislation because labor organizations know they have a lot to gain.
Freelancers need to ensure there are active forces on the opposite of the debate because we have a lot to lose.
I’ve said this before and I’ll continue saying it—freelancers need to keep up with developments on the PRO Act and
MAKE YOUR VOICES HEARD!!!
Don’t believe that contacting senators doesn’t matter. It does.
NEW UPDATE 4/20:
Now, West Virginia Senator Joe Manchin is adding his support
Learn Why Freelancers Are Worried About The PRO ACT In This KnowGood Podcast
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