March 5, 2021
Dear Members of the Virginia Congressional Delegation:
On behalf of the approximately 225,000 employers in the Commonwealth concerned with the rights of their employees, the fragile economy, and the need for balance in federal labor law, the undersigned chambers of commerce write to express our opposition to the Protecting the Right to Organize (PRO) Act.
Currently, 27 states have prioritized safeguarding the freedom of choice for employees by becoming a Right-to-Work state. Preserving employee free choice and protection against forced-dues payments are critical components to supporting Virginia’s workforce, both of which are foundational principles of Right-to-Work. In Virginia, many major employers have maintained constructive relationships with organized labor organizations, while maintaining its status as a Right-to-Work state.
Unfortunately, the PRO Act would drastically restructure the nation’s labor laws resulting in diminished opportunities for entrepreneurs and small businesses. It would undermine worker rights, drag employers into unrelated labor disputes, and force workers to pay union dues regardless of their wishes.
Among its many onerous provisions, the PRO Act would:
- Eliminate all state Right-to-Work laws, which protect workers in more than half the country against being fired if they decline to pay union dues.
- Prevent workers from decertifying a union even if they are unhappy with it.
- Undermine private ballot union representation elections—a fundamental worker right since 1935.
- Deny individuals the ability to work independently, threatening the emerging “gig” economy and taking away the flexibility that has allowed American businesses of all sizes to grow.
- Allow unions to launch protests and pickets against any employer, even those that have nothing to do with a labor dispute.
- Impose liability on businesses for workplaces they do not control and workers they don’t employ.
- Impose mandatory union contracts if a union and employer do not reach an agreement and deprive workers of the right to vote on the terms and conditions of their own employment.
- Increase class action lawsuits by restricting alternate, less disruptive means of dispute resolution in the workplace.
The following chambers remain committed to a business climate that supports workers’ free choice and grows our economy. This legislation hinders our ability to meet that commitment.
For these reasons, we urge you to VOTE AGAINST the PRO Act.
Virginia Chamber of Commerce
Alleghany Highlands Chamber of Commerce
Bristol TN/VA Chamber of Commerce
Chesterfield Chamber of Commerce
Central Fairfax Chamber of Commerce
Clarksville Lake Country Chamber of Commerce
Coastal Virginia Chamber of Commerce
Danville-Pittsylvania County Chamber of Commerce
Dulles Regional Chamber of Commerce
Emporia-Greensville Chamber of Commerce
Franklin-Southampton Area Chamber of Commerce
Fredericksburg Regional Chamber of Commerce
Greater Augusta Regional Chamber of Commerce
Greater Reston Chamber of Commerce
Greater Springfield Chamber of Commerce
Halifax County Chamber of Commerce
Hampton Roads Chamber of Commerce
Loudoun Chamber of Commerce
Lynchburg Regional Business Alliance
Montgomery County Chamber of Commerce
Mount Vernon Lee Chamber of Commerce
Northern Virginia Chamber of Commerce
Orange County Chamber of Commerce
Prince William Chamber of Commerce
Roanoke Regional Chamber of Commerce
Shenandoah County Chamber of Commerce
Top of Virginia Regional Chamber
Virginia Asian Chamber of Commerce
Virginia Peninsula Chamber of Commerce