South Carolina Attorney General Alan Wilson is leading a 14-state coalition of attorneys general in opposition to a significant labor law bill that’s also opposed by the senior living industry.
The bill, H.R. 842, the Protecting the Right to Organize, or PRO, Act, passed the House of Representatives last month 225–206, with five Republicans joining what has been a mostly Democrat effort strongly backed by a union-supporting president. The measure faces poor prospects in the Senate, however, unless the filibuster is removed.
Before the House vote, senior living advocacy group Argentum asked its members to oppose the bill, arguing that it would “effectively repeal” right-to-work provisions now used in 27 states and create workforce challenges for the industry.
The latest coalition of attorneys general is arguing that the legislation would negate state right-to-work laws and require workers to pay union dues to keep their jobs.
“Our nation has always been one of opportunity that rewards individual choice, ingenuity, and initiative,” Wilson said in a letter signed by 13 other state attorneys general. “Our laws have long preserved the ability of employees to speak for themselves, to make informed decisions, and to work without being forced to pay fees to third parties.”
Advocates of the measure say it would bolster collective bargaining rights. AFL-CIO President Richard Trumka told NPR last month the bill would be a “game changer.”