AHLA reacts unfavorably to Congress’ reintroduction of labor-friendly PRO Act

The Protecting the Right to Organize (PRO) Act, a union-friendly proposed legislation, was reintroduced by federal legislators amid mixed reviews. The act is an attempt to implement more union-friendly policies and restore workers’ rights to freely and fairly form unions and negotiate together for changes in the workplace.   

Named in honor of late labor leader Richard Trumka, the act enables unions and employers the ability to override state-level “right-to-work” legislation, enhance strike protections and ban employers from organizing “captive audience” meetings during which they notify staff about unions, among other changes.   

The act also seeks to increase remedies for violations of workers’ rights, enhance their right to support secondary boycotts, ensure that unions can collect “fair share” fees and update the union election process.  


The legislation will also make it more difficult for employers to categorize their employees as supervisors and independent contractors, who are not covered by the National Labor Relations Act and will mandate increased transparency in labor-management relations.  

Opposing the act, American Hotel & Lodging Association (AHLA) President and CEO Chip Rogers said the PRO Act will “destroy jobs and assail business” just as the U.S. economy was returning to pre-pandemic normalcy. 

“The lodging industry has long provided a pathway for fulfilling careers and the means for employees and entrepreneurs to achieve the American Dream. Unfortunately, the PRO Act reintroduced in Congress this week, would undermine workplace flexibility and upward mobility for workers and create extensive and costly regulatory burdens for small business owners. While every worker has the right to freely join a union, the PRO Act would encroach upon worker privacy, subvert secret ballot elections and manufacture joint employer liability in an effort to impose a union on businesses and workers,” Rogers said in a statement. 

The act passed the U.S. House of Representatives in 2020 and 2021 but could not reach the floor for a vote in the Senate, where a filibuster requires at least 60 votes to pass most bills.   

Hailing the “landmark” act as the “key to America’s future,” the American Federation of Labor and Congress of Industrial Organizations (AFL-CIO) said the “basic labor law, which is supposed to protect the rights of workers to form a union and bargain collectively, is broken.”  

The National Labor Relations Act (NLRA) of 1935 ushered in a wave of worker organizing that changed the direction of America, building the greatest middle class the world has ever known. Yet ever since its passage, corporations and their political allies have conspired to render the law toothless. In recent decades, employers have been able to violate the NLRA with impunity, routinely denying workers our basic right to join with our co-workers for fairness on the job,” the AFL-CIO said.  

According to a recent survey, public support for labor unions has been soaring, with 71% of Americans approving of labor unions. However, despite the increasing support, decades of anti-union attacks have made it difficult for workers to create unions, as union membership fell to a new low of 10.1% in 2022.