Magaziner, union leaders press for labor bill

Backed by labor leaders and union members, Democratic Congressman Seth Magaziner rallied support outside a Starbucks in Warwick Thursday for a bill that would protect the right to organize March 16, 2023. Photo by Steve Klamkin WPRO News

By Steve Klamkin WPRO News

Congressman Seth Magaziner rallied union leaders and members Thursday outside a Starbucks coffee shop in Warwick for passage of a bill called the “Protect the Right to Organize”, or PRO Act.

Workers at the Warwick Starbucks fell short last year in a drive to organize, failing in a tie vote.

“Big corporations have become savvier and more effective at harassing workers out of forming unions,” said Magaziner, alongside the drive-up lane at the coffee shop.

“That is why I am an original cosponsor this year of the bipartisan PRO Act in Congress. The PRO Act will rebuild the middle class, improve the lives of working people and create an economy where everyone can succeed by making it easier for workers to form a union free of harassment,” the first term Democrat said.

“I’ve been an organizer for 25 years, and I’ve seen the bosses pull every dirty trick in the book,” said Patrick Crowley, Secretary-Treasurer of the Rhode Island AFL-CIO. “They fire you, they threaten you. They try to insinuate that the union’s going to take your money and not do anything for you. If that was the case, why would they fight so hard?”

Magaziner, who said Republicans have joined in support of the bill, said that the National Labor Relations Board has cited Starbucks with more than 500 unfair labor practice charges over the last four years.

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