U.S. House passes PROact in effort to help labor unions

WASHINGTON — Late Thursday, the House of Representatives passed the Protecting the Right to Organize Act, or PROact, in an attempt to help the country’s labor unions.

“PROact will make sure people who work in this country have the freedom to form a union so they can get their fair share of the American pie,” Rhode Island Democrat David Cicilline said.

Democrats like Cicilline say right now, only 10 percent of American workers belong to unions. Virginia Democrat Bobby Scott says if that number goes up, it would bring higher wages, better benefits and safer working conditions.

“Majority of the people not in unions and would like to be in one,” Scott said.

The bill passed, mostly along party lines, with opposition from House Republicans saying it will hurt American businesses.

“There are over 50 harmful provisions in this bill which are bad for workers, job creators and the U.S. economy,” North Carolina Republican Virginia Foxx said.

And Republicans like Foxx and Michigan’s Tim Walberg say this could lead to an abuse of power from unions.

“But any reforms we make to federal labor laws should put workers first, not union leaders first,” Michigan Republican Tim Walberg said.

Despite the promise of a presidential veto, Democrats hope the bill inspires their supporters to vote in the upcoming election. The bill now moves on to the Senate, where it isn’t expected to get much traction.