The House and Senate today introduced legislation strongly opposed by NAHB that contains dozens of sweeping labor law revisions that would negatively affect the construction labor market at a time of critical skilled worker shortages.
The Protecting the Right to Organize (PRO) Act, would expand employers’ liability for the labor practices of subcontractors and third-party vendors and narrow the circumstances under which an individual can work as an independent contractor — effectively gutting the contracting business model that serves as the foundation of the residential construction sector.
The legislation was introduced in the House (H.R. 20) by Rep. Bobby Scott (D-Va.) and Brian Fitzpatrick (R-Pa.) and in the Senate (S. 567) by Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.). The measure has virtually no chance of passing the Republican-controlled House; and it is uncertain whether it will pass the Senate, where the Democrats hold a slim majority.
This organized labor “wish list” bill resurrects bad policies that have previously been rejected by Congress and courts alike, including:
- Eliminating right-to-work protections nationwide;
- Stripping employer and employee free choice and privacy in union elections; and
- Curbing opportunities for independent work and subcontracting.
With the nation currently facing a housing affordability crisis, NAHB’s message to lawmakers is that this situation will only get worse if Congress endorses misguided policies that force the labor market to contract and inflate the costs of home construction.