On March 30, the National Priorities Project at the Institute for Policy Studies joined 20 other leading peace and justice organizations in delivering a letter to U.S. Senators in support of H.R. 842, the Protecting the Right to Organize (PRO) Act.
“As organizations dedicated to promoting progressive foreign policy, we believe that a peaceful future must include fair treatment for the workers whose labor makes safe and thriving societies possible,” the letter says. “For that reason, we celebrate the passage of H.R. 842, the Protecting the Right to Organize (PRO) Act, and urge the Senate to act quickly to pass this landmark legislation.”
As the letter notes, the PRO Act would enact long overdue changes to existing labor law, providing strong protections for employees organizing to form a union and for working people who are already members of a union. This would expand basic labor protections to millions of workers who are not currently in a union, penalize corporations that illegally fire or retaliate against workers, expand workers’ collective bargaining rights, close loopholes that corporations use to exploit and intimidate workers, and enhance workers’ right to act in solidarity with one another. It would also strengthen U.S. foreign policy by providing a global model for progressive labor rights.
“A bold progressive foreign policy must include labor rights, because labor rights are human rights,” said Lindsay Koshgarian, Director of the National Priorities Project at the Institute for Policy Studies. “For two decades, the United States has invested in endless wars and has failed to ensure good jobs for Americans. By protecting workers’ right to form a union, the PRO Act would help to put good jobs and dignity in the workplace within reach for millions of workers. The PRO Act would help the United States serve as a global model for labor rights, reducing conflict and promoting peace by bolstering economic well-being and self-determination for all people.”
Signatories on the letter include: American Friends Service Committee, ART NOT WAR, Beyond the Bomb, Center for International Policy, CODEPINK, Common Defense, Feminist Foreign Policy Project, Friends Committee on National Legislation, Grassroots Global Justice Alliance, Greenpeace US, Institute for Policy Studies, Jewish Voice for Peace, Justice Is Global, MADRE, Massachusetts Peace Action, Peace Action, Peace Direct, Peace Education Center, Public Citizen, Veterans For Peace, Women’s Action for New Directions (WAND), and Win Without War.
Lindsay Koshgarian is available for comment and interviews.