Hager: America needs the PRO Act to strengthen unions and worker rights

On his monthly appearance on the America’s Workforce Union Podcast, Dorsey Hager, the Executive Secretary-Treasurer of the Columbus/Central Ohio Building and Construction Trades Council, talked about the PRO Act and an open Franklin County Commissioner seat with AWF host Ed “Flash” Ferenc. 

More specifically, the two discussed the prospects of the U.S. Senate to take up a vote on the PRO Act, pro-union legislation that makes it easier for workers to organize. They also discussed recent efforts to fill a vacancy on the Franklin County Board of Commissioners after the retirement of longtime county commissioner Marilyn Brown.

What the PRO Act means to America’s working class

Dorsey Hager

Dorsey Hager, C/COBCTC Executive Secretary-Treasurer

Hager said it will be interesting to see if the PRO Act sees a vote on the floor of the U.S. Senate. He suspects Democrats may be holding off until they address the filibuster, as it will be difficult to get 60 votes with Republican opposition. To pass the PRO Act, it may be necessary to end the filibuster.

Passage of the PRO Act would be good for labor and great for workers, Hager said. Since Reagan fired the air traffic controllers in the early 1980s, everything has gone downhill for labor. Aside from Biden recently getting rid of anti-union, Trump-appointed lawyers on the National Labor Relations Board, labor has unfortunately not seen many victories in the last 40 years. 

Passage of the PRO Act would be a tremendous step in the right direction, he added. If it becomes law, the PRO Act would turn the tables on big business and the unscrupulous tactics it uses to keep unions out. It would also increase union membership. 

As Hager said, a rising tide lifts all boats and the PRO Act would help people earn better wages and benefits across the board. 

Democrats fill Franklin County commissioner seat

AWF Host Ed Flash Ferenc

AWF Host Ed Flash Ferenc

Hager also discussed the recent process to replace longtime Franklin County Commissioner Marilyn Brown, a Democrat, who retired to assist several members of her family who have health problems. 

Initially, about 12 people expressed interest in the position. The Franklin Democratic Party Central Committee was tasked with picking a replacement and whittled down the selection to two names — Ohio State Rep. Erica Crawley and Columbus City Councilwoman Elizabeth Brown, the daughter of U.S. Sen. Sherrod Brown. 

He said the committee was fortunate enough to have two strong candidates to choose from, and ultimately, Crawley was chosen by nine votes.

Hager added he could not say enough good things about Marilyn Brown — a strong union supporter. It was good to have her serve as commissioner. He congratulated Crawley on the appointment and said she will do a good job.

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