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Letter to the Editor, April 9, 2021: PRO Act eliminates right-to-work laws

Letter to the Editor, April 9, 2021: PRO Act eliminates right-to-work laws

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PRO Act eliminates

right-to-work laws

Editor, Times-Dispatch:

The PRO Act, House Resolution 842, is one of the egregious items buried in the infrastructure legislation. It eliminates right-to-work laws in 27 states, including Virginia.

Virginia Code Section 40.1-62 provides that employers cannot require employees to join a union or pay union dues. Without this law, unions and management can agree that nonunion employees must pay union dues. This does not cost management anything. The employee pays the dues, so management typically agrees to this concession.

Unions are important, but workers should not be forced to join or pay for something they do not want. It is (or used to be) un-American to force citizens to join or pay for something they do not want to join or pay for other than taxes.

The PRO Act also changes independent contractors (including Realtors) into employees. As an employee, independent contractors will be unable to take tax deductions for their legitimate business expenses and employers will be obligated to file federal and state employment and unemployment tax returns, issue W-2 forms, pay both unemployment and 50% of the workers Federal Insurance Contributions Act (Social Security) taxes on all wages paid, and meet all other regulatory obligations.

The argument for the PRO Act is that nonunion workers benefit from union efforts so they should pay union dues. Unions make their decisions. Workers should be able to make their own decisions.

Some elected officials support the PRO Act because it generates revenue for unions which then, in gratitude, make contributions to these elected officials. It is selling influence in exchange for a type of graft. We will see if Virginia's U.S. Sens. Mark Warner and Tim Kaine, both Democrats, vote to receive the graft (as U.S. Rep. Abigail Spanberger, D-7th, did) or vote to protect the unfettered working rights of the citizens they represent.

George Gretes.


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