Sunday, October 24, 2021


Some states entice people back to the workplace by increasing safety standards and higher minimum wage; Bannon held in Contempt of Congress; and the latest cyber security concerns.


House votes to hold Bannon in contempt of Congress; Trump announces new social media platform TRUTH Social; and the Biden administration says it will continue to expel migrants under Title 42.


An all-Black Oklahoma town joins big cities in seeking reparations; a Kentucky vaccination skeptic does a 180; telehealth proves invaluable during pandemic; and spooky destinations lure tourists at Halloween.

ND Labor Groups: PRO Act Is About Accountability


Tuesday, July 27, 2021   

MINOT, N.D. -- Many arguments are being floated about legislation before Congress that would bring big changes to U.S. labor laws. The bill has its opponents, but North Dakota unions who back the plan say it's important to look beyond the rhetoric.

Sponsors of the PRO Act said a key goal is to make it easier for workers to unionize. It also would override "Right to Work Laws" in 27 states, including North Dakota.

Opponents say that removes choices for workers who don't want to join a union.

Bob Wolf, organizer for the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers Local 714 in Minot, said they can opt out. He argued dues-collection language ensures they contribute to efforts to secure benefits they receive.

"It costs the folks that are members money to negotiate a contract, to fight grievances, and you don't go to a potluck and not bring anything," Wolf asserted.

This month, unions from across the country held rallies in hopes of convincing senators still on the fence about the bill. They said the effort centers around blocking businesses who use intimidation tactics to stall union organizing. Groups like the U.S. Chamber of Commerce countered the PRO Act would do more harm to workplaces than good, while disrupting the economy.

Wolf contended it goes beyond wages and the ability to hold union elections. He added giving organized labor more tools to operate paves the way for safer working conditions.

"You know, we don't see everything out in the field, and that's where when the members come back and say, 'You know, we're being asked to do this in an unsafe manner or an unsafe way,'" Wolf recounted.

Landis Larson, president of the North Dakota AFL-CIO, said as for prohibiting interference, workers should have the right to openly discuss union possibilities without looking over their shoulder, or being forced to attend company-sponsored informational sessions.

"They call them captive-audience meetings with the employees," Larson explained. "It is very intimidating when you're looking at the people that actually give you your money for a paycheck. It's a real chilling effect."

The House approved the PRO Act in March, but it faces an uncertain future in the Senate.

Disclosure: The North Dakota AFL-CIO contributes to our fund for reporting on Livable Wages/Working Families. If you would like to help support news in the public interest, click here.

get more stories like this via email
California has collected more than 600 tons of unwanted prescription drugs since the Take-Back Day program began in 2010. (Dodgerton Skillhause/Morguefile)

Health and Wellness

SACRAMENTO, Calif. - Saturday is National Prescription Drug Take-Back Day, when the Drug Enforcement Administration encourages everyone to clean out …

Health and Wellness

BALTIMORE - This month marks the four-year anniversary of the #MeToo movement, and an art project aims to help incarcerated survivors heal by telling …

Social Issues

OGDEN, Utah - Utah is one of only a handful of states that taxes food, but one state legislator says taxing groceries should become a thing of the …

In a new poll, 71% of all registered voters support strengthening rules to reduce oil and gas methane pollution, including 73% of Independents and 50% of Republicans. (Adobe Stock)


CASPER, Wyo. - A strong majority of voters across party lines say they want national rules similar to those passed in Wyoming to reduce methane …

Health and Wellness

ARLINGTON, Va. - Although COVID-19 rates have gone down, the virus continues to hit the Hispanic community especially hard. Now, a new campaign aims …

Child-care advocates say if North Dakota doesn't boost funding for the system, more families might pull out of the workforce because of access issues. (Adobe Stock)

Social Issues

BISMARCK, N.D. - A portion of American Rescue Plan funding sent to North Dakota has yet to be divvied up. Groups that want to improve the child-care …


ALBANY, N.Y. - Environmental groups want Gov. Kathy Hochul to sign a bill that mandates monitoring the state's drinking water for "emerging …

Social Issues

JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. - Gov. Mike Parson is facing calls to get the Missouri Cybersecurity Commission off the ground after it was created by the …


Phone: 303.448.9105 Toll Free: 888.891.9416 Fax: 208.247.1830 Your trusted member- and audience-supported news source since 1996 Copyright 2021