When Pres. Joe Biden took office, his promise to America was to, “Build Back Better.” It didn’t take him long to break that commitment with the series of job-killing executive orders he’s signed right out of the gate. Even more ridiculous is Congressional Democrats’ push of the Protecting Right to Organize (PRO Act). 


First and foremost, the PRO Act would completely dismantle Iowa’s Right to Work Law. Besides the overstep of the federal government on state’s rights, Iowa workers would be forced to join a union as a condition of employment. The choice to join a union or not is one of the most fundamental freedoms a worker has, and it’s one that Iowans have had since 1947.  


According to the National Right to Work Committee, “families in right to work states have greater after-tax income and purchasing power than those families living in non-right to work states and greater economic vitality, faster job growth and lower unemployment rates.” 


As Iowa small businesses, including the construction industry, are reeling from the effects of the pandemic and, in some cases, holding on by a thread, the last thing they need is to have the advantages right to work provides, ripped away from them. 


Aside from stripping the freedoms of workers, the PRO Act would also:

  • Expose Employee Personal Information by mandating that businesses turn over workers’ personal information, such as cell phone numbers, home addresses and even assigned shifts to union organizers.
  • Limit the Gig Economy by reclassifying independent contractors as employees. 
  • End Secondary Boycott Protections allowing unions to picket companies that chose to use merit shop vendors – vendors that are not unionized. 
  • Interfere with Attorney-Client Confidentiality and make it harder for small businesses to secure legal advice on labor law issues. 


The PRO Act does absolutely nothing to protect workers. Instead, it increases union power over job creators, employees, and our economy by threatening small businesses, violating workers’ privacy, and eliminating their freedoms. 


This isn’t the first time Congressional Democrats have introduced this big labor payback legislation. The radical policies contained in the PRO Act have historically been rejected by our judicial system, opposed by Congress in a bipartisan manner, and even rejected by the agencies asked to enforce them. Of course, we had Pres. Trump as our fail-safe. He vocally promised to veto the PRO Act and proudly stood for fair and open competition, expanded workforce development initiatives, and upskilling the workforce. 


The House is expected to vote on the PRO Act next week. If Biden and Democrats truly wanted to “Build Back Better,” they’d do what Pres. Trump did and threaten to veto this terrible legislation and allow Iowa construction workers the freedom to earn a living and pursue the American dream however they see fit. 


For more information on the PRO Act visit: https://freeenterprisealliance.org/proact/ 

Greg Spenner

Greg Spenner is the President and CEO of Associated Builders and Contractors of Iowa