COLUMN: Congress debates bill aimed at hurting Georgia’s economy – LaGrange Daily News

By Vance Smith and Richard Smith
Representatives at Georgia House

Jhe news for the national economy is grim and seems to be getting worse. Soaring gasoline prices, inflationary pressure, a broken supply chain and a continuing labor shortage have all contributed to making running a business far more expensive than it was eighteen years ago. barely months. Today, with the turmoil in the stock market and rising interest rates, we are beginning to hear rumors of a recession.

It is important to know that these are the results of deliberate, albeit poor, policy choices.

Here in Georgia, we made decidedly different policy decisions that yielded much better results. Executive publication Area Development has named Georgia a “Top State for Doing Business” for eight consecutive years. We are proud to say that here, particularly in the Columbus/LaGrange/Pine Mountain area, we have developed a strong manufacturing and small business base that is helping to grow the Georgian economy and create good well-paying jobs for working families.

This did not happen by accident. Our success is also the result of deliberate political choices.

One such policy that has created untold jobs for Georgians more than 75 years after its enactment is our state’s Right to Work Act. This law stipulates that Georgian workers cannot be forced to join a union or pay union dues as a condition of their employment. Here’s how it protects workers. Imagine that a majority of workers at a Starbucks in Atlanta vote to form a union, as is their right. Under the right to work, every employee in this store also had the right to decide for themselves whether or not to join the union.

But Georgian workers would lose that right and be forced to join the union under a federal bill called the Protection of the Right to Organize (PRO) Act. The PRO Act would override right-to-work laws in 27 states and require workers to join a union or pay union dues, which in Georgia average about $1,000 a year.

That’s not all this overly expansive wish list of a bill would do. It targets workers’ freedoms in other ways. For example, it would eliminate the right of workers to a secret ballot in union elections. Instead, the PRO law would require workers to sign – or refuse to sign – a union authorization card in public, in front of union organizers and even their co-workers. Imagine the outcry if a politician proposed to abolish the secret ballot to elect federal, state and local candidates.

The PRO law also endangers the privacy of workers. A provision states that employers must hand over private information about workers, such as home addresses and phone numbers, to union representatives without workers’ consent. This, of course, exposes them to potential threats and harassment from over-eager union organizers.

The PRO Act is fundamentally changing the American workplace in more than 50 unique ways, including reclassifying many gig economy workers as employees and making it much harder for contractors to enter the job market. franchises.

You would think that after seeing the failures of federal government policies, our own US Senator Raphael Warnock is among the co-sponsors of the job-killing PRO law. That may be because he took more money for the labor campaign than all but two other US senators.

Warnock should know that a recent Georgia Chamber of Commerce poll shows that Peach State voters oppose the aforementioned provisions of the PRO law and that more than half of all Georgians (52%) say they are less likely to vote for a member of Congress. who supports him.

The good news is that the PRO law seems to be going nowhere in the Senate, at least in its current form. The bad news is that the bill’s supporters continue to try to introduce its language into other bills that they believe would be more popular. Senator Warnock should be warned. Georgians are hard-working and industrious, as our economic power shows. They need their US senator to work with them, not against them.

About Michael S. Montanez

Check Also

Illinois voters must decide whether to sit in Congress | Illinois

(The Center Square) — Voters in Illinois decide on Tuesday who they will send to …