Sens. Tom Carper and Chris Coons joined House and Senate Democrats on May 7 in introducing the Protecting the Right to Organize Act — comprehensive legislation to strengthen protections for workers’ right to organize a union and bargain for higher wages, better benefits and safer working conditions.

As wage inequality continues to leave workers and middle-class families behind, this legislation would empower millions of Americans to stand together and ensure hardworking people are getting their fair share of economic growth.

“Our country was built by hardworking men and women who, over the years, organized and fought hard for workers’ rights,” said Carper. “Unfortunately, today, instead of working to protect Delaware’s middle-class families, the Trump administration is focusing its energy on ensuring that wealthy shareholders and executives can take an even bigger cut of corporate profits. That’s why I’m proud to join Sen. Coons and my Democratic colleagues to introduce the PRO Act, which will protect millions of Americans’ right to organize and negotiate fair wages and working conditions.”

“Unions helped create America’s middle class and have fought to ensure that generations of workers receive better wages and benefits,” said Coons. “I was proud to join Sen. Carper and our Democratic colleagues in introducing the PRO Act to protect the rights of Delaware’s workers to form unions and negotiate fair working conditions.”

Specifically, the PRO Act would establish penalties on predatory corporations that violate workers’ rights, and combat misclassification of workers as supervisors and independent contractors; strengthen workers’ right to strike for basic workplace improvements, including higher wages and better working conditions; create a mandatory mediation and arbitration process to ensure corporations and newly formed unions reach a first contract; authorize unions and employers to negotiate agreements that allow unions to collect fair-share fees that cover the costs of representation; streamline the National Labor Relations Board’s procedures to secure worker freedoms and effectively prevent violations; and protect the integrity of union elections against coercive captive audience meetings.

In the House, the PRO Act was introduced by Reps. Bobby Scott, D-Virginia, chairman of the House Committee on Education and Labor; Frederica Wilson, D-Florida, chairwoman of the Health, Employment, Labor, and Pensions Subcommittee; Andy Levin, D-Michigan, vice chair of the Education and Labor Committee; Pramila Jayapal, D-Washington, co-chair of the Congressional Progressive Caucus; and Brendan Boyle, D-Pennsylvania.

The Senate companion was introduced by Sens. Patty Murray, D-Washington, ranking member of the Committee on Health, Education, Labor and Pensions; Sherrod Brown, D-Ohio, ranking member of the Committee on Banking, Housing and Urban Affairs; and Jacky Rosen, D-Nevada.