This article was originally publishedin the Lake Havasu News, May 28, 2021
The Lake Havasu Area Chamber of Commerce was proud to sign a state-wide letter thanking US Senators Krysten Sinema and Mark Kelly for NOT co-sponsoring the PRO Act (Protecting the Right to Organize Bill).
The PRO Act if it becomes law, would hurt workers, businesses, independent contractors and our nation’s economic recovery. It’s a brave move by our Arizona Senators – only 3 US Democrat Senators made the decision to not co-sponsor the legislation.
The Act would force employees to pay union dues regardless of whether they support a union, threaten private ballots in union elections, and workers would lose their independent contractor classification. The ACT is a big threat to independent contractors not just in Arizona, but in all 50 states. This legislation would reclassify most independent contractors as employees under the National Labor Relations Act, even if they wish to keep their current work situation as it is.
If passed, the PRO Act would mean job loss like what happened to our neighbor to the west, potentially seeing countless businesses who rely on independent contractors to shut down – remember the situation with Uber and Lyft in California?
According to Americans for Prosperity, 15 million US Citizens earn their primary income as independent contractors, or 10 percent of all the workers in the US. There are hundreds of independent contractors in Havasu. Real Estate Agents, Barbers and Beauticians, Artists and Designers, Yoga Instructors and more, and even more Americans do some freelance work and /or gig work in this changed economy. In addition, the PRO Act would:
• Undermine secret ballot elections that would force workers to make their choice about unionizing in public and exposing them to problems with union agents.
• The Act would impose California’s definition of “independent contractor” on Arizona and the rest of the country, denying individuals the ability to work independently and eliminating the flexibility that has allowed thousands of Arizona businesses to grow.
• Overrule the will of Arizona voters by eliminating our state’s “right to work” law that protects workers from being terminated if they decline to pay union dues.
• Impose personal liability on mangers for alleged NLRA violations and enact penalties as high as $100,000.
There are many more problems with the PRO Act, and you can find a full list at www.uschamber.com/stop-the-pro-act.
Again, we thank Senator Sinema and Senator Kelly for not co-sponsoring the PRO Act and we urge them to stay off this harmful for Arizona businesses, legislation.
Lisa Krueger is the president and CEO of the Lake Havasu Area Chamber of Commerce.