At a press conference hosted by the Associated Builders and Contractors of New Hampshire and Vermont (ABC NH/VT), the Business and Industry Association (BIA) of New Hampshire, the New Hampshire Grocers Association, NFIB NH, and the New Hampshire Retailers Association, business leaders discussed how the Protecting the Right to Organize (PRO) Act, pending federal legislation in Congress, could negatively impact workers and small businesses in New Hampshire.
New Hampshire business leaders fear that the PRO Act will cause irreparable damage to the state’s economy by harming small and local business as they attempt to navigate a fragile economic recovery. They also say the PRO Act would force employers to hand over private employee information to union organizers and subject them to unwanted harassment at their homes.
“The ‘PRO Act’ completely upends the carefully crafted 70-year balance between labor and management. It will inevitably result in unnecessary conflict between employees and employers. This is the last thing that businesses need as they struggle to adapt and survive to the challenges created by the COVID-19 pandemic.” said BIA’s Interim President, Dave Juvet.
“The ‘PRO Act’ would require employers to turn over employee personal information without their consent” said Josh Reap, President and CEO of the Associated Builders and Contractors of NH/VT. He continued “what’s worse, employers and employees would be precluded from opting out of this requirement and would not have a say in which information was provided, leaving employees without a voice on such a critical issue.”
“The NH Retail Association, 95% of whose members are small NH based retailers, has serious concerns over the destructive impacts of the ‘PRO Act’. Citizens of New Hampshire value our privacy and legislators in both parties have enacted statutes that protect privacy. But the ‘PRO Act’ would strip workers of many privacy rights they currently have, including the right to cast a secret ballot in union elections. The ‘Pro Act’ is just not the New Hampshire way.” said Nancy Kyle, President and CEO of the New Hampshire Retail Association.
Hollie Noveletsky, CEO of Novel Iron Works in Greenland, NH, continued “We have been successful for generations in business because of the commitment and resilience of our employees. After COVID-19 and now out of control inflation, the ‘PRO Act’ would have the federal government dramatically interfere in how we operate – this would only hurt, not help Granite State workers and families.”
“I proudly served my nation and fought for our freedoms, including the freedom to start and grow a business absent untoward government intrusion” said noted combat veteran, Howard Ray of Lyndeborough, NH. He continued, “The ‘PRO Act” would make it far easier for unions to be imposed on companies and workers that don’t require or even want them. I chose my non-union job and my wife chooses to work as an independent contractor. The ‘PRO Act” would change all of that for me and my family just to please DC insiders and union bosses” said Ray.
Senators Shaheen and Hassan have co-sponsored the PRO Act and New Hampshire business leaders are calling on them to rescind their support of the legislation.
About the PRO Act:
The Protecting the Right to Organize (PRO) Act would drastically overhaul U.S. labor laws for the sole purpose of increasing union membership. The federal legislation takes away workers’ rights by repealing right-to-work laws in 27 states, forcing workers to pay union dues as a condition of employment and mandates that employers turn over the private information of their employees to union organizers taking away their right to privacy. The PRO Act also implements California’s “ABC test” which would force many employers, especially small businesses, to reclassify many independent workers as employees or lay them off which would especially impact work-from-home parents and gig economy workers. It also expands the joint-employer standard which will upend the franchising industry and hurt the small business owners that rely on the franchise business model. Bottomline - The PRO Act would impact nearly every business owner and worker in the U.S.