Skip to comments.Manchin Betrays Freelancers By Supporting the PRO Act
Posted on 04/21/2021 4:54:02 AM PDT by Kaslin
Senator Joe Manchin (D-WV) was one of five Senate Democrats withholding support for the Protecting the Right to Organize (PRO) Act—until yesterday.
While participating in this virtual event, Senator Manchin announced he’s now signing on as a co-sponsor, saying, "I look forward to working with my colleagues, on both sides of the aisle, to move this bill through a legislative process.”
What an act of betrayal. Unsurprisingly, another holdout— Senator Angus King (I-ME)—also threw freelancers under the bus last week.
Business groups immediately rebuked him.
"It is very disappointing that Senator Manchin has chosen to side with union bosses over West Virginia’s workers and small businesses, especially during a time of economic turmoil," said Kristen Swearingen, chair of the Coalition for a Democratic Workplace.
Oddly, Manchin’s embrace of the bill doesn’t compute. He and Senator Kyrsten Sinema (D-AZ) recently received donations from the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, a PRO Act foe, for standing up to some of President Joe Biden’s policies.
The West Virginia Senator got some explaining to do.
Nonsensical for Manchin to Hitch Himself to Losing Cause
Senator Manchin seems like a smart guy. Why is he supporting this atrocious bill? Did the Biden administration get to him?
The PRO Act contains a California AB5-like ABC test that will intentionally misclassify flexible workers—including independent contractors—as employees. Worse, this federal compassion bill would take it further and abolish right-to-work legislation.
"Fifty percent of unions fail in their first year of organizing. This legislation will level the playing field," Manchin said.
Level the playing field for whom? Already powerful union interests?
Unfortunately for Big Labor activists, there’s no natural appetite for unionized work existing today. (Amazon workers overwhelmingly rejected unionization recently.) 59 million Americans now freelance because it’s a viable option. That’s 36 percent of the workforce, whose economic output is valued at a whopping $1.2 trillion. Contrast that with the union workforce, which comprises 10.8 percent of the U.S.workforce today.
Get with the times, Senator Manchin! Your state is.
PRO Act Will Economically Displace West Virginians
Is Manchin out of touch with his state? It appears so. And could his support of the bill affect 2024 re-election prospects there—a state increasingly trending Republican? Absolutely.
West Virginia is radically transforming into a pro-business state, with its right-to-work law and similar measures to attract business to the Mountain State. The PRO Act would undo the progress being made there.
“Remote-work freelancers are programmers, writers, graphic designers, salespeople, project managers, and engineers, who steer their own career ships. They earn more than most full-time employees, and West Virginia is the perfect place for them to bring their dollars,” Thomas Gerencer wrote in The Register-Herald. “The Mountain State is poised to lead the way for once, and state revenue is set to take off. But the ABC test in the PRO Act can stop us on the launch pad.”
I suspect Governor Jim Justice (R-WV) won’t be happy to see the PRO Act become law. Why? He announced a new program, Ascend WV, on April 12th to lure remote and self-employed workers to the state with an incentive package including “$12,000 and a year’s worth of free outdoor recreation.”
“Today, we are rolling out the red carpet and inviting remote workers from across the country to make Almost Heaven, West Virginia their new home,” Governor Justice said. “I couldn’t be more proud of the dream team that we’ve assembled to get this program off the ground. From the generous support of our private partners, Brad and Alys Smith, to my landmark legislation (HB 2026) passed by the Legislature, and the educational foundation laid by WVU, this collaboration has developed a program that will leave a lasting impact on our great state forevermore.”
Talk to Governor Justice, Senator Manchin. He’ll help you see this light on freelancing!
Where the PRO Act Stands Today
Big Labor is out for freelancer blood, and it’s going to require everyone’s help—Democrats and Republicans, freelancers and non-freelancers alike—to defeat the bill.
As of this writing, three Senate Democrat co-sponsors remain for Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-NY) to bring the PRO Act up for a vote.
If it fails to pass, the PRO Act won’t die there.
The Biden administration announced its inclusion into the American Jobs Plan, or so-called “infrastructure bill”:
Empower Workers. President Biden is calling on Congress to update the social contract that provides workers with a fair shot to get ahead, overcome racial and other inequalities that have been barriers for too many Americans, expand the middle class, and strengthen communities. He is calling on Congress to ensure all workers have a free and fair choice to join a union by passing the Protecting the Right to Organize (PRO) Act, and guarantee union and bargaining rights for public service workers. His plan also ensures domestic workers receive the legal benefits and protections they deserve and tackles pay inequities based on gender.
I’m surprised my Senator, Mark Warner, opposes the bill’s ABC test. He seems to grasp this will adversely affect constituents like me who freelance full-time.
Bravo! Don’t kowtow to Big Labor, Senator. And neither should Arizona Senators Mark Kelly and Kyrsten Sinema, who also represent a right-to-work state like Warner.
How can readers help stop the PRO Act?
Urge these three holdouts and all 50 Republican Senators to hold the line and oppose the bill—whether in standalone form or as part of the American Jobs Plan.
Join the Fight for Freelancers Facebook group to educate yourself about the issue and take action here.
Manchin got his payout/backroom deal/whatever was in it for him and then he changed his vote. Why is anyone surprised? He always does this.
He’s the biggest phony in the Senate. But the stoopid ridge runners keep voting for him.
Like most Dems, Joe’s addicted to CUBs.
Coerced Union Bux.
Gotta keep the gravy trains rolling, damn the consequences for the plebs.
There has to be some legit fraud going on in West Virginia for this clown to be sent back twice already, if I’m not mistaken.
Could be that he has his daughter bribe some with free EpiPens, though.
Or, are the folks of West Virginia just that effin’ dumb?
Manchin is an attention whore.... look at me. I am important... I might... I might not... BUT WE ALL KNOW WHAT HE WILL EVERNTUALLY DO... He is a democrat/liberal liar.
Manchin always has and always will have the “union label” stitched to his skin. That and “gig” employees are few in WV. Despite being a Red State, West Virginia retains strong union sympathies.
I assume if he’s rushing to endorse it it’s only because the “Pro” act is going down in flames in the Senate like the remainder of Xiden’s agenda - and Manchin knows it. Remember this guy has never done anything remotely close to “brave”.
Unionized Zimbbwe.......... that is the leftwing goal
America is over when a senator under certain death threats caves to save his own hide and forfeits American workplace freedom
Manchin (Mancini) not only looks like a sniveling homunculus, he is one.
Manchin = fake “maverick”.
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