FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Contacts on behalf of the International Union of Painters and Allied Trades
Ryan Kekeris, 410-564-5884, email@example.com
Last night, the International Union of Painters and Allied Trades (IUPAT) hosted the first national town hall in support of our Pass the PRO Act campaign and obtained commitments from committee chairs of both chambers of Congress to advance the bill in the upcoming legislative session. The speakers included AFL-CIO President Richard Trumka, Chairman of the House Committee on Education and Labor Congressman Bobby Scott, Congressman Conor Lamb, IUPAT General President Kenneth Rigmaiden, IUPAT General Vice President Jimmy Williams, Lauren Maunus of Sunrise Movement, and Communication Workers of America Secretary-Treasurer Sara Steffens.
AFL-CIO President Trumka made it clear that with this monumental opportunity, which unions helped to create with a trifecta in the House, Senate and Presidency, we expect results and are going to do everything we can to deliver. Trumka stated,“This year, we’re going to get the PRO Act to Joe Biden’s desk, come Hell or high water.”
Congressman Bobby Scott, chair of the House Committee on Education and Labor, announced during the town hall that he would reintroduce the PRO Act shortly after the inauguration next week and that he would advance the bill out of his committee: “We’re going to be introducing the PRO Act shortly after the inauguration. Working together, we can improve the lives of working people across this country because joining a union ought to be a right and not a fight. I appreciate all the work that’s being done and we’re gonna win.”
Senator Patty Murray, incoming chair of the Senate HELP Committee, sent a written statement to IUPAT that stated: “It’s more clear than ever before that we must strengthen our labor laws to protect workers and build back a fairer and more equal economy. I will continue to fight to pass the PRO Act in order to finally restore workers’ right to stand together and fight for better pay, quality health care, a safer workplace, and a secure retirement.”
With commitments from both Congressman Scott and Senator Murray, we are proud to announce that the Pass the PRO Act campaign’s efforts are already bearing fruit. We now have assurances from both the House and Senate that they will fight to advance the bill out of their respective committees.
These commitments would not be possible without the efforts of the IUPAT to organize the labor movement and our allies these past two months. The Pass the PRO Act campaign has support of over 100 labor unions, dozens of state labor federations, and allied organizations that total over 8 million workers and is growing every day.
In the coming weeks, we will begin mobilizing members of our coalition to ask members of Congress to sign on to our campaign and pledge to fight for the passage of the PRO Act. AFL-CIO President Trumka framed the coming fight as “Corporate America’s gonna oppose us, most Republicans will start at no, and some Democrats, quite frankly, will be looking for a way out. So we need to organize and mobilize in every state and in every Congressional district.” Lauren Maunus of Sunrise Movement, a youth-led environmental justice group, said of the campaign: “Thank you for placing grassroots mobilization at the center of the strategy to win the PRO Act. We share the assertion that this is how change happens. Our members are ready and organized to take action to pass the PRO Act.”
During the town hall, Congressman Conor Lamb re-doubled his support for the PRO Act campaign, stating: “I’m very excited to be a part of this and to support it in my district. I’m confident that people in places like Western Pennsylvania will support this and I’ll do everything I can to help it pass.”
CWA’s Secretary-Treasurer Sara Steffens ended the PRO Act town hall by saying, “We at CWA are ready to do everything within our power to win. And if each and every one of us does our part to show corporations what real solidarity looks like, the entire labor movement, we will win. Millions and millions of Americans are depending on the Democrats, and us, to get this done, so let’s get it done!”
The Pass the PRO Act campaign is planning to lobby every member of Congress, every Senator and the Biden administration to get them on the record pledging to fight for the PRO Act in the next session. While the PRO Act has 218 cosponsors in the House, 41 cosponsors in the Senate, and the support of both President-elect Biden and VP Kamala Harris, the time is now for each and every one of them to fight for and demand the labor law reform we need, beginning with the PRO Act.
After nearly 100 years without positive labor law reform, we must pass the PRO Act.
THE INTERNATIONAL UNION OF PAINTERS AND ALLIED TRADES (IUPAT)
Represents a growing community of over 110,000 active and retired craftspeople in the United States and Canada. The IUPAT membership extends far beyond the workplace. Recognized as one of the most active unions in the labor movement, IUPAT members help shape their communities in many ways: through an abiding commitment to service, by fighting passionately for workers’ rights that benefit all working families, and through effective worker education and mobilization. Visit www.iupat.org to learn more.