© 2024
Virginia's Public Radio
Play Live Radio
Next Up:
0:00 0:00
Available On Air Stations

Congressman Scott is hopeful his union legislation can move forward

FILE - Rep. Bobby Scott, D-Va., speaks during a House Committee on the Budget hearing on March 29, 2022, in Washington. Building on President Joe Biden’s student debt cancellation plan, House Democrats on Thursday, Sept. 15, proposed new legislation that would increase federal student aid, lower interest rates on loans and take other steps to make college more affordable. “Simply put, by making loans cheaper to take out and easier to pay off, the LOAN Act will help improve the lives of student loan borrowers — both now and in the future,” said Scott.
Rod Lamkey
AP/Pool Consolidated News Photos
FILE - Rep. Bobby Scott, D-Va., speaks during a House Committee on the Budget hearing on March 29, 2022.

Virginia Congressman Bobby Scott is about to launch a new effort to protect the right to organize. And, it has Republican support.

Labor leaders say the pandemic forced people to think about their workplace in a different way, focusing on working conditions and health benefits. They say that's what explains the surging popularity of unions, although Congressman Bobby Scott says employers are still engaging in union busting.

"Unions are at their highest popularity in recent history, and yet because there are virtually no sanctions for unfair labor practices every time someone tries to join a union, they're faced with a slew of unfair labor practices," Scott says.

That's why he’s introducing the Protecting the Right to Organize Act, which has the support of Republican Congressman Brian Fitzpatrick of Pennsylvania and Senator Bernie Sanders of Vermont.

Congressman Scott says one of the goals of the bill is to make sure employers get sanctioned for union busting.

"A lot of people are fired. The employer faces no sanction," he explains. "But I'll tell you everybody working at that business knows what happens when you get caught trying to organize the union. Well, that's not fair, and that's why the PRO Act provides meaningful sanctions for unfair labor practices."

A previous version of this bill passed the House but the Senate never put in on the calendar for a vote. Congressman Scott says he’s hopeful he can get the bill out of a Republican-controlled House and onto the calendar of the Senate for a vote.

This report, provided by Virginia Public Radio, was made possible with support from the Virginia Education Association.

Michael Pope is an author and journalist who lives in Old Town Alexandria.