Throughout the U.S., labor organizations and leaders are coming together to make their voices heard in support of labor-friendly legislation, such as the PRO Act.
One person who has been working diligently to convince Ohioans and Ohio’s representatives of the importance of the PRO Act is Ohio AFL-CIO President Tim Burga. He joined the AWF Union Podcast to discuss what is being done to pass the PRO Act, why an infrastructure bill is needed and other topics.
National Week of Action
In conjunction with Workers’ Memorial Day, the AFL-CIO organized a national week of action. The outreach event was organized to encourage working people to reach out to their Senators and tell them to support the PRO Act.
Each day of the week featured a different benefit gained by working people if the PRO Act were to be signed into law. Burga said these benefits stretch beyond union members, as all working people would gain added rights in the workplace and in the organizing process.
There are still three Democratic Senators holding out on their support for the PRO Act, but Burga and others in the labor movement expect them to throw their support behind it.
Putting Americans to work with the American Jobs Plan
Conversation shifted to pandemic relief and what more the federal government can do to lift the country out of the pandemic-driven slump. While the American Rescue Plan was a start, Burga believes more needs to be done.
He said the American Jobs Plan is the most crucial piece of legislation currently being discussed. The infrastructure bill would provide funding for much needed improvements, restorations and new construction.
The best part about the bill is that it would put thousands of Americans back to work after suffering a devastating year of unemployment, Burga said.
Burga believes it is important to get this bill right and not let it fall apart like past infrastructure plans. Having a detailed plan of where and how money will be spent is vital and will determine the success of the bill.
Lastly, Burga suggested paying for the bill through increased corporate taxes and taxes on the highest earners. Another suggestion has been to increase the gas tax, or impose a user fee to those who tend to use roads and bridges more frequently.