FAIRFAX — A new statewide survey shows Virginia voters have serious concerns regarding the Protecting Right to Organize (PRO) Act and the impact the federal legislation would have on workers’ rights and small business if enacted by Congress.
Virginia voters are most concerned that the PRO Act, which would drastically rewrite labor regulations in the U.S. and repeal Virginia’s right-to-work laws, would force employees to join a union and pay dues to retain their job, turn over employees’ personal information to union organizers, negatively impact small businesses and put independent contractors out of work.
Northern Virginia Chamber President and CEO Julie Coons said the survey aligns with the concerns of employees and employers throughout the state:
“This year has taken a toll on Virginia’s workers and small businesses. The PRO Act that would repeal our right- to-work law and force Virginians to pay union dues as a condition of employment. Doing so would do irreparable harm to Virginia’s ability to attract new businesses, permanently damaging our economy,” Coons said. “This survey shows that voters share these concerns and do not support radically changing labor laws at the expense of Virginia workers and businesses.”
Coons thanked Virginia’s Senator Mark Warner for not sponsoring the legislation and standing up for the state’s small business community and workers.
“Senator Warner should be applauded for standing up for Virginia workers and small businesses in not signing on to the PRO Act,” Coons said. “We are extremely thankful that our senator is standing his ground given the significant pressure and intimidation being deployed by out-of-state PRO Act supporters.”
• 61 percent of Virginia voters, including 52 percent of Democratic voters, think unions should have the same or less influence. Only 27 percent think unions should have more influence.
• Specifically, 60 percent of voters in Northern Virginia wanted unions to have the same or less amount of influence while only 29 percent wanted unions to have more.
• Nearly eight out of 10 (72 percent) voters are concerned about repealing Virginia’s right-to-work protections for workers and forcing them to pay union dues or risk losing their job.
• 76 percent of Virginia voters are concerned about requiring employers to turn over employees’ personal information to union organizers without the consent of the employee.
• Nearly seven out of 10 (69 percent) voters are concerned the PRO Act limits the ability of individuals to work as independent contractors.
• 65 percent of voters believe that Americans should not be forced to join a union as a condition of employment.
• 67 percent of voters are concerned about eliminating ‘secret ballot’ union elections.
• 62 percent of voters are concerned about upending the franchise business model turning existing owners of franchises into employees of their brand and reducing new franchise ownership opportunities.
The statewide survey of 502 Virginia voters was conducted by Forbes Tate Partners, a bipartisan government affairs and research firm, from May 25 through June 2.