The U.S. Chamber of Commerce is reportedly set to endorse 30 House Democrats, 23 of which have been identified by The Hill as freshmen in vulnerable seats. The historically free market, pro- growth, pro-worker freedom group has been a supporter of Right-to-Work laws and has rightly opposed the Protecting the Right to Organize Act (PRO Act).

So it comes as a rude surprise that 20 of the 23 identified endorsed Democrats voted for the PRO Act. Ten of those 20 who voted for the PRO Act represent Right to Work states.

U.S. Chamber-Endorsed Democrats who voted for the PRO Act: 

  • Rep. Elaine Luria (D)
  • Rep. Lizzie Fletcher (D)
  • Rep. Haley Stevens (D)
  • Rep. David Trone (D)
  • Rep. Cindy Axne (D)
  • Rep. Angie Craig (D)
  • Rep. Dean Phillips (D)
  • Rep. Greg Stanton (D)
  • Rep. Josh Harder (D)
  • Rep. TJ Cox (D)
  • Rep. Harley Rouda (D)
  • Rep. Susie Lee (D)
  • Rep. Anthony Brindisi (D)
  • Rep. Abigail Spanberger (D)
  • Rep. Sharice Davids (D)
  • Rep. Xochitl Torres Small (D)
  • Rep. Colin Allred (D)
  • Rep. Andy Kim (D)
  • Rep. Antonio Delgado (D)
  • Rep. Abby Finkenauer (D)

U.S. Chamber-Endorsed Democrats who voted for the PRO Act, from Right to Work states: 

  • Rep. Greg Stanton (D) – Arizona
  • Rep. Cindy Axne (D) – Iowa
  • Rep. Abby Finkenauer (D) – Iowa
  • Rep. Sharice Davids (D) – Kansas
  • Rep. Haley Stevens (D) – Michigan
  • Rep. Susie Lee (D) – Nevada
  • Rep. Lizzie Fletcher (D) – Texas
  • Rep. Colin Allred (D) – Texas
  • Rep. Abigail Spanberger (D) – Virginia
  • Rep. Elaine Luria (D) – Virginia

The PRO Act immediately bans Right to Work laws. 166 million Americans live in the 27 Right to Work states. Right to Work laws allow workers the freedom of employment without forced membership in a labor union or forced payment to a union boss. 

The PRO Act imposes the California-style independent contractor policy (AB5), which reclassifies numerous independent contractors as employees. This law has already resulted in countless people losing their livelihoods and having their dreams crushed.

The PRO Act also imposes criminal penalties and holds managers and executives personally liable for possible violations of the often-opaque National Labor Relations Act.

In the U.S. Chamber of Commerce’s own words, in a letter to Congress

“This bill [PRO Act] would abolish any sense of balance between union rights and employer rights in labor organizing and negotiations by explicitly eliminating employers as a party in elections to determine if a union would represent that employer’s workforce.  Moreover, under this legislation a secret ballot election where the employees chose not to be represented by a union could be overturned if enough employees signed cards saying they supported that union…

This bill would also effectively repeal the Taft-Hartley Act, labor law reforms enacted in 1947 to rein in some of the most abusive union organizing tactics of that era.  H.R. 2474 would once again allow unions to engage in secondary boycotts and picketing, meaning that they could target any employer doing business with a targeted company even if those employers have no connection with the union. This would allow for the disruption of entire segments of the economy.

Another key provision of the Taft-Hartley Act allowed states to pass right-to-work laws, meaning that workers could no longer be fired for not paying union dues. Twenty-eight states have enacted right-to-work laws. H.R. 2474 would repeal the section of the Taft-Hartley Act allowing these laws, invalidating all states’ right-to-work laws currently in place.  

Moreover, H.R. 2474 would codify the National Labor Relations Board’s unworkable Browning-Ferris definition of joint-employer liability based on “indirect” or “potential” control of another company’s employees.  It would also codify and nationalize the strict definition of independent contractors based on the California Supreme Court’s Dynamex decision that threatens to make using or operating as an independent contractor extremely difficult.  This court decision is poised to seriously damage the tech sector, start-ups, and “gig” economy companies, as well as the millions of individuals who value the independence and flexibility of working as independent contractors.  In addition, it would reinstate the “persuader” rule, which was intended to deprive employers of legal representation during union campaigns, a rule that a court found “defective to its core.”

In a U.S. Chamber of Commerce economic evidence update, they stated that “… after three years the evidence across all indicators continues to suggest that Right-to-Work laws are good for the economy, notwithstanding arguments to the contrary.” 

The endorsement of such hostile candidates is particularly alarming, as presidential candidate Joe Biden supports the PRO Act, making its passage a potential reality if Democrats (like the ones endorsed) take over the presidency and Senate, and keep the House.