The Biden administration released an executive order last Friday on promoting competition in the American economy that continues the president’s efforts to push for passage of the Protecting the Right to Organize (PRO) Act. The President’s EO encourages the FTC to ban or limit non-compete agreements, ban occupational licensing restrictions, and join with the Department of Justice to prevent employers from sharing wage and benefit information with one another. The EO states that “These actions complement the President’s call for Congress to pass the Protecting the Right to Organize (PRO) Act to ensure workers have a free and fair choice to join a union and to collectively bargain.”
ABC’s Vice President of Legislative and Political Affairs Kristen Swearingen released a statement as part of the Coalition for a Democratic Workplace (CDW) criticizing the President’s actions and the impact they would have on small business throughout the country.
Senate Democrats could also release their budget resolution this week, outlining an overall total for a multi-trillion spending package that they plan to pass along party lines. Senate Budget Committee Chairman Bernie Sanders has previously called for including the Protecting the Right to Organize or PRO Act under the budget reconciliation process. While it is uncertain that the PRO Act could survive scrutiny under reconciliation requirements, the willingness of the Budget Committee chairman to recommend it is a sign that Democrats could try to push additional labor requirements, including prevailing wage or project labor agreements, under reconciliation that could harm the construction industry.
The construction industry shut down for a few months last year during the pandemic — but was quickly deemed essential, allowing paused projects to continue. But in that short time, the sector lost more than 1 million workers. The industry has recouped nearly 80% of its workforce since then, but is still down 238,000 workers from pre-pandemic levels as of June, according to the Labor Department.
The Biden administration released an executive order last Friday on promoting competition in the American economy that continues the president’s efforts to push for passage of the Protecting the Right to Organize (PRO) Act.