Nationwide Right to Unionize Act

Bill Name: Nationwide Right to Unionize Act

Bill Sponsor: S. 4803, Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-MA)
H.R. 8793, Rep. Brad Sherman (D-CA)

Summary: Congressional Democrats introduced legislation to eliminate the ability of states to protect people from being fired for not paying union fees. Currently, a majority of states have right-to-work laws protecting worker freedom and giving workers a choice to pay union fees or not.

Under the proposed Nationwide Right to Unionize Act, private-sector workers nationwide would no longer have a choice in union membership. If a union represents them, whether the workers want representation or not, they would also be required to pay. Currently this would affect over 2.8 million private-sector workers represented by unions in 27 right-to-work states.  It would also eliminate the ability of states and localities to pass these laws in the future, preventing possibly millions more employees from enjoying the freedom to choose.

Background: This legislation is a spinoff of a proposal included in the failed Protecting the Right to Organize (PRO) Act, a comprehensive rewrite of labor rules that would impact employees and employers alike, while greatly expanding union privileges.  The PRO Act would weaken worker freedom and protections, increase regulation of businesses, and strengthen collective bargaining to increase the union share of the workforce.

The PRO Act was approved by the U.S. House of Representatives on March 9, 2021but has since languished in the Senate.

Bill Status: The Nationwide Right to Unionize Act was introduced in the Senate and House in September 2022 and referred to the chambers’ respective labor committees.


Additional resources:

PRESS RELEASE: Senator Warren and Representative Sherman Reintroduce the Nationwide Right to Unionize Act, Call for Passage of the PRO Act
September 28, 2022,

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