US: House passes bill to strengthen workers, unions

By Ovunc Kutlu

ANKARA (AA) – The US House of Representatives passed a bill late Tuesday that aims to strengthen workers and their rights to unionize.

Protecting the Right to Organize Act, which was introduced by Rep. Bobby Scott, a Democrat from Virginia, was passed with 225-206 vote.

“Labor unions are essential to rebuilding America’s middle class and improving the lives of workers and their families,” Scott said in a statement, noting that union membership has been on decline over the last 70 years.

The Act aims to provide new tools to protect workers from intimidation and retaliation by introducing penalties for companies that violate workers’ rights, and it allows workers to hold free, fair, and safe union elections, he added.

It also changes the ways workers are classified, as it adds a language classification to ensure that workers are not denied their rights due to their immigration status.

The bill is expected to face Republican opposition in the Senate where it needs 60 votes for it to be signed into a law.

Republicans argue that the legislation would place unnecessary burden on businesses, and it would have a negative impact on employment figures.