Here’s more on Senator Joe Manchin’s support for the
Protecting the Right to Organize Act (PRO Act), a sweeping labor reform bill that passed the House in March.
Manchin – who represents Republican stronghold West Virginia – is considered one of the most conservative Democrats in the senate. But, speaking at a virtual event at the National Press Club today, he
announced that he’d sign on as co-sponsor for the bill.
“This legislation will level the playing field,” Manchin said. “I look forward to working with my colleagues on both sides of the aisle to move this bill through a legislative process.”
The bill, which would provide protections for workers attempting to organize, and allow unions to collect dues from non-members,
passed 225-206 last month, with 5 Republicans voting in favor. It’s considered the biggest legislative priority for the labor movement, and has support from the White House.
“Nearly 60 million Americans would join a union if they get a chance, but too many employers and states prevent them from doing so through anti-union attacks,”
President Biden said in a statement after it passed last month. “They know that without unions, they can run the table on workers – union and non-union alike.”
Still, it’s a long shot. While Manchin’s move will bolster optimism for the bill, he didn’t share details on how he would convince his colleagues to join him in supporting the measure. The Senate, though narrowly under Democratic control is sharply divided and it’s unlikely to gain enough support to get past a GOP filibuster.
Even with Manchin’s support the bill does not yet have all 50 Democrats in the 100-member Senate, the level at which Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer said it would get a vote. Democratic Senators Mark Warner, Kyrsten Sinema and Mark Kelly still have not supported the bill.
And a Senate rule that requires most legislation to win 60 votes for passage instead of only a simple majority, could stand in its way”.