For immediate release
March 9, 2021
Statement from UNITE HERE International President D. Taylor on Passage of the PRO Act by the House of Representatives:
“Today’s passage of the PRO Act by the House of Representatives marks a historic moment for our Union and for all workers in this country. Unions are the route to a just recovery in the wake of the pandemic, just as unions have been the route for working people and families to survive and thrive in a life of dignity and respect. A union contract is the way to guarantee in writing fair wages, fair benefits, and overall workplace fairness—it is also a critical tool in the fight for racial justice and against discrimination, ensuring dignity and fair treatment for all workers, regardless of who they are or where they were born.
“Amid the COVID-19 pandemic, it has become clearer than ever—particularly for the hospitality workers’ union, UNITE HERE—how critical a difference belonging to a union can be, especially for workers of color and women, who are among the communities hardest hit by loss of life, health, and employment this last year.
“The PRO Act will remove many obstacles to joining a union and achieving a union contract through collective bargaining. It will give millions of workers of all backgrounds a real opportunity to lift themselves and their families out of poverty and achieve an improved standard of living. Passing the PRO Act will be key to fulfilling President Biden’s promise to support union organizing and the right to collectively bargain.
“President Biden has spoken forcefully for the need to hold corporate executives personally accountable for interfering in union elections and violating other labor laws. The PRO Act’s several provisions in this area are a step in the right direction toward putting some real teeth into labor law and streamlining the process for workers who seek justice after suffering retaliation for exercising their right to organize.
“In strengthening the enforcement of worker rights and addressing many other inequities in the nation’s system of labor relations, the PRO Act will begin to modernize our legal system to advance American workers’ rights to organize and collective bargain in accordance with that national policy—and bring us one step closer to achieving an equal playing field for all workers.
“UNITE HERE urges the Senate to swiftly move this historic legislation forward to President Biden’s desk. Workers need this now more than ever.”
UNITE HERE has over 300,000 members working in the North American hospitality industry. Over 75% of its members are still out of work as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, down from a peak of 98%. During the 2020 presidential election UNITE HERE ran the largest union door-to-door canvassing operation in the United States.