Can Private Sector Unionization Be Saved?: An Analysis of the PRO Act as a Model for Effective NLRA Reform

By Christopher Adinolfi

In February 2020, the U.S. House of Representatives passed the Protecting the Right to Organize Act (“PRO Act”), one of the most prolabor pieces of legislation since the creation of the current labor relations framework in 1935.  For almost seventy-five years, the substantive text of the National Labor Relations Act (NLRA) has remained largely unchanged, despite the pervasive increase of anti-labor hostility from companies seeking to avoid the unionization of their workers.  Across all stages of unionization, organizers and bargaining agents face coercive management tactics, diminished negotiating positions, the loss of collective action tools, and a National Labor Relations Board without the ability to effectively deter illicit activity.  This Note examines the current framework’s issues and the PRO Act’s attempt to remedy these problems by amending the text of the NLRA.  Although the legislation is the most comprehensive piece of private sector labor reform since the inception of the NLRA, this Note addresses the PRO Act’s deficiencies and advocates for a stronger, more effective model for future federal labor law change.