Washington, D.C. – Unions are engines of economic mobility that played an essential role in building the nation’s middle class. In the past 40-plus years, however, union membership has decreased by 50 percent and workers are paying the price with stagnant wages and fewer workplace protections.
On Tuesday, March 26, Congresswoman Wilson, who chairs the Education and Labor Committee’s Health, Employment, Labor and Pensions subcommittee, will lead a hearing titled “Protecting Workers’ Right to Organize: The Need for Labor Law Reform.” The forum’s goal is to identify economic and other effects of union membership decline and legislative measures to strengthen the National Labor Relations Act.
“We will explore the strengths and weaknesses in the current state of labor law and identify proposals that hold employers that violate the law accountable, protect collective action, and modernize labor laws for a changing economy,” Congresswoman Wilson will say in her opening remarks. “If Congress is truly on the side of American workers, we must protect their right to bargain for better wages and better working conditions.”
Union membership unquestionably has its privileges. Through collective bargaining, workers can negotiate fair wages, benefits, and workplace protections. Unions also help prevent discrimination based on race, gender or sexual identity. It is important to also note that unions “advocate well beyond their membership to ensure that all workers can achieve economic mobility.”
The hearing will take place from 10:15 AM to noon and can be viewed live here.
Congresswoman Frederica S. Wilson is a fourth-term Congresswoman from Florida representing parts of Northern Miami-Dade and Southeast Broward counties. A former state legislator and school principal, she is the founder of the 5000 Role Models for Excellence Project, a mentoring program for young males at risk of dropping out of school. Congresswoman Wilson also founded and chairs the Florida Ports Caucus, a bipartisan taskforce that coordinates federal action in support of Florida’s harbors and waterways. The Florida lawmaker sits on the Transportation and Infrastructure Committee and the Education and the Workforce Committee, and chairs the Subcommittee on Health, Employment, Labor and Pensions.