Arizona business groups turning up opposition to PRO Act

In partnership with the country’s leading business advocacy organization, business groups across Arizona have made defeat of the anti-employer PRO Act one of their top priorities for the remainder of the year.

The U.S. Chamber of Commerce is working with its partner organizations in Arizona to express their gratitude that the state’s two senators, Kyrsten Sinema and Mark Kelly, continue not to support the legislation. 

Sinema and Kelly are two of only three Democratic senators who have not agreed to cosponsor the bill. Senate Majority Leader Charles Schumer (New York) says he will bring the bill to a vote once it secures 50 cosponsors, which makes Sinema and Kelly’s position on the bill even more important.

The House version of the PRO Act passed along mostly party lines in March. All of Arizona’s Democratic congressional delegation members voted in favor of the bill. 

If the PRO Act were to pass, it would overturn decades of labor law, disrupting workplaces, weaking protections for employees and employers, and lead to increased litigation according to the U.S. Chamber. 

At a special website established by the group, there are tools for Arizonans to contact their senators and applaud their refusal not to join as bill cosponsors.

One of the most concerning provisions of the PRO Act is its elimination of states’ right-to-work laws, which protect workers from being fired if they choose not to join a labor union. Arizona is a right-to-work state. 

David Martin

“If the PRO Act were to pass, it would do tremendous damage to Arizona’s workplaces and its overall competitiveness,” said David Martin, president of the Arizona chapter of the Associated General Contractors. “We’re so fortunate to have a right-to-work law in Arizona that ensures that the decision whether to join a labor union is left up to the employee. Our workplaces are largely free of hostility and intimidation. We want to keep it that way.”

The bill also undermines the use of secret ballots in union organizing elections, allowing labor unions to use instead so-called “card check,” whereby workers sign cards to authorize a union rather than voting a ballot privately.

Among the litany of anti-employer elements, the PRO Act would also allow “secondary boycotts,” where one company is pressured not to do business with another company that is the subject of a labor action. Currently outlawed, this secondary activity would result in strikes and pickets against businesses with no direct role in a labor dispute, such as suppliers and vendors and even professional service firms like banks and accountants.

“If the PRO Act becomes law, business owners in Arizona could wake up on any given day to find picket lines in front of their business even though the dispute has nothing to do with them,” Tucson Metro Chamber President and CEO Amber Smith and U.S. Chamber Chief Policy Officer Neil Bradley wrote in a column last month. 

Chambers of commerce and other business groups across Arizona are increasing their communications with Sinema and Kelly. More than 50 business groups and chambers of commerce in April wrote to the two senators urging them not to join the bill.

“We thank Senators Sinema and Kelly for not lending their support to this extremely damaging bill,” Martin said. “The Arizona economy is on much more solid footing today than it was a year ago and we’re poised for tremendous growth. Passage of the PRO Act would be a major step back and would do real harm to Arizona’s job creators and our economy.”

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