Wyden, Merkley, colleagues introduce legislation to protect workers’ right to organize

Wyden, Merkley, colleagues introduce legislation to protect workers’ right to organize

By:  KTVZ News Sources

WASHINGTON (KTVZ) -- Sens. Ron Wyden and Jeff Merkley, D-Ore., said Monday they have joined a bipartisan group of senators to introduce comprehensive legislation that would protect workers' right to organize and bargain for higher wages, better benefits, and safer workplaces in Oregon and nationwide.

Here's the full news release, issued by Wyden's office:

 "From child labor laws to sick leave and overtime, some of the most vital worker rights and protections exist thanks to the tireless efforts of unions," Wyden said. "We cannot allow ultra-wealthy CEOs and shareholders to line their pockets at the expense of working Oregonians and Americans, worsening our nation's already-massive income inequality. That’s why I support this timely and common-sense legislation that would empower workers to unionize and advocate for better wages, benefits and working conditions."

"Workers across the nation are unionizing for better pay and working conditions, but corporations are using underhanded union-busting techniques to stop them. For too long, the powerful and privileged have rigged our economy to protect themselves and their wealth-often by exploiting the workers who created that wealth in the first place. This must change," Merkley said. "As the son of a union machinist, I saw up close the difference a strong union can make in delivering the fair wages and robust workplace protections that every worker deserves. That’s why I’m fully committed to doing all that I can to keep partnering with and supporting America’s unions. It’s time to strengthen American workers’ ability to bargain collectively and negotiate for a better deal." 

Unions are crucial to growing a strong middle class and creating an economy that rewards hardworking people. Studies show that union members earn, on average, 10 percent more than those with similar education, occupation, and experience in a non-union workplace. Despite growing support for unions, decades of anti-union attacks have made it harder for workers to organize. The Richard L. Trumka Protecting the Right to Organize (PRO) Act of 2023 restores fairness to the economy by strengthening the federal law that protects workers’ right to join a union and bargain for higher pay, better benefits, and safer workplaces.