Federal Spotlight: House Passes Protecting the Right to Organize (PRO) Act – Bill Will Impact Iowa's Right to Work Status

March 11, 2021

The U.S. House of Representatives passed the Protecting the Right to Organize (PRO) Act this week by a 225 to 206 vote. This was mainly a vote along party lines, with 220 Democrats and only five Republicans supporting the bill. The significant anti-jobs bill now moves to the U.S. Senate, where it has 44 cosponsors.

The PRO Act threatens both Iowa businesses and employees. It will end Iowa’s Right to Work law, which was enacted in 1947 and has been a part of the state for more than 70 years. This Right to Work law protects an Iowan’s choice – no employee is forced to pay union dues or fees to keep their job. Losing Iowa’s Right to Work status will gut an employee’s power to decide what is best for them.

Furthermore, according to the National Association of Manufacturers (NAM) outlook survey for the first quarter of this year, nearly 97% of respondents said the legislation would have a negative impact on business operations and their existing relationships with employees. Privacy concerns will also arise under this bill, which requires companies to provide unions with sensitive information about an employee without their consent.

Iowa Congresswoman Ashley Hinson (IA-01), Congresswoman Mariannette Miller-Meeks (IA-02) and Congressman Randy Feenstra (IA-03) voted no on the legislation. Congresswoman Cindy Axne (IA-03) voted yes.

ABI members can help push back against this legislation and should reach out to both Sen. Chuck Grassley and Sen. Joni Ernst to vigorously oppose this bill. Our organization joined more than 100 organizations nationwide this month in a letter urging Congressional lawmakers to vote against the bill. ABI will continue to monitor this bill as it gets considered by the Senate.

You may read a fact sheet provided by NAM, which ABI is a member of.