The Democratic majority in the U.S. House has approved a massive pro-labor union bill that’s unlikely to make it past the Republican-led U.S. Senate. But the legislation’s agenda could pose a threat to North Carolina’s gig economy if federal power shifts further left in 2021, experts say.  

After a few hours of debate Thursday, Feb. 6, House Resolution 2474, “Protecting the Right to Organize Act,” passed the House, 224-194. Only five Republicans voted in favor of the legislation.

The so-called “PRO Act” is a nightmarish collection of pro-union provisions that could wither state economies and hurt individual workers, say several economists and researchers. The bill would deliberately attempt to override state right-to-work laws and “beat back independent contracting and the gig economy,” said Jon Sanders, director of regulatory studies for the John Locke Foundation. 

North Carolina’s congressional delegation voted along party lines. Rep. G.K. Butterfield, 1st District; Rep. David Price, 3rd District; and Rep. Alma Adams, 12th District — all Democrats — voted in favor of the legislation. 

Nine of the state’s 10 Republican representatives voted against the PRO Act. One, Rep. George Holding, 2nd District, was recorded as “not voting.” 

Contrary to its claims, the PRO Act hurts workers, Foxx, the Republican leader of the House Education and Labor Committee, said Thursday during floor debate.  

The bill would be a disastrous attempt to bolster union bosses, she said. 

“Let’s also remember that federal law already protects the right of employees to organize, and Republicans respect this right,” Foxx said. “Any reforms to U.S. labor laws should help workers, not union bosses.”

Click here to read more about the PRO Act.