Only One Witness Represents Business Community Despite PRO Act’s Significant Economic Impacts To Small Businesses And Non-Unionized Workers’ Rights

Washington, D.C. – The Coalition for a Democratic Workplace (CDW), composed of hundreds of organizations representing millions of businesses that employ tens of millions of workers nationwide in nearly every industry, released the following statement today in response to the witnesses for the U.S. Senate Committee on Health, Education, Labor and Pensions’ (HELP) hearing on the Protecting the Right to Organize (PRO) Act being listed.

The following statement is attributable to CDW Chair Kristen Swearingen:

“Similar to the PRO Act itself, this week’s hearing stacks the deck in favor of union bosses at the expense of small and local businesses.

“The three witnesses chosen by Democrats to testify are all outside-the-mainstream mouthpieces for union lobbyists. Mark Gaston Pearce has been called a ‘forced-unionism extremist’ and, during his time at the NLRB, pushed policies attacking small businesses and free speech. Dr. Heidi Shierholz is employed by an organization that is funded and led by the largest unions in the country, including the AFL-CIO, UAW, SEIU, IAM, NEA, AFSCME, CWA and AFT. She has also advocated to limit opportunities for independent contractors, for an expanded joint-employer standard and against right-to-work laws. Gracie Heldman is a longtime union organizer and has worked with national organizations such as the Farm Labor Organizing Committee.

“It’s a shame that those most affected by the PRO Act will barely be heard at this hearing. With no witnesses representing the majority of Americans who reject forced unionization and one witness representing the small business community, this hearing does not allow an accurate or fair representation of how this deeply flawed legislation will impact millions of Americans.

“We call on the Senate HELP committee to reschedule this hearing to allow more witnesses from the small business community to testify in order to allow for a more fair and balanced discussion of the PRO Act.

“The PRO Act drastically restructures our nation’s labor laws in favor of unions at the expense of workers, small and local businesses, Main Street consumers and entrepreneurs. It takes away workers’ essential rights and opens them up to intimidation and harassment from union organizers. The PRO Act restricts the use of independent contractors, which will cause small and local businesses to close their doors forever. It expands the joint-employer standard, which would upend the franchise industry, killing millions of jobs. Given the significant and devastating impact this bill will have on small businesses across the country, you would think Congress would want to hear how they would be affected.”

Click here for more information on the negative impacts of the PRO Act.




About The Coalition for a Democratic Workplace

CDW is a broad-based coalition of hundreds of organizations representing hundreds of thousands of employers and millions of employees in various industries across the country concerned with a long-standing effort by some in the labor movement to make radical changes to the National Labor Relations Act without regard to the severely negative impact they would have on employees, employers, and the economy. CDW was originally formed in 2005 in opposition to the so-called Employee Free Choice Act (EFCA) – a bill similar to the PRO Act – that would have stripped employees of the right to secret ballots in union representation elections and allowed arbitrators to set contract terms regardless of the consequence to workers or businesses.