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Zylstra: Trade union bill threatens innovation and technology employment

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Stephen G. Jillstra

Continuing to grow and nurture Arizona’s thriving technology industry is fundamental to the state’s economic recovery. As a result, the Arizona Technology Council, as one of the country’s largest technology-led trade associations, has the potential to curb innovation, limit employment opportunities, and threaten Arizona’s prosperous technology sector. I am deeply concerned about the law. State employment.

Almost all Democrats in the Senate (except Kyrsten Sinema and Mark Kelly) have signed the Organizing Rights Act. The bill contains many provisions that undermine local businesses and threaten state-wide economic development efforts. Proponents are misrepresenting the PRO Act as a way to protect workers’ right to form unions, but in reality they work while creating new barriers that make it difficult for Arizona’s business to grow. Infringes the rights of the person.

With regard to employee rights, the PRO Act ignores fundamental rights to privacy. The bill gives union organizers access to personal information such as home addresses and phone numbers, which could target workers and their families to incite the union.

The PRO Act further strengthens the rights of employees and employers by empowering the US Government to set binding arbitration terms for both parties.

Basically, if the negotiations last more than four months, a government arbitrator may intervene to determine and enforce the terms of the contract. It does not allow workers to vote on terms and conditions without a basic understanding of the business. Only unions that want to increase their membership can benefit from this arrangement.

The bill will also limit the growth of the tech industry by targeting independent contractors and gig economy workers.

This makes it very difficult to qualify as an independent contractor, among other things. This means that many Arizonas who turn to independent and flexible work lose their position and the flexibility they have come to enjoy.

Technology companies across the state and across the country rely on their relationships with independent contractors and freelance workers to provide their products and services to consumers.

And thousands of Arizonas have come to rely on the additional income they earn from working for these companies, especially during a pandemic.

Policy makers should look for ways to increase these employment opportunities, rather than limiting them as in the PRO Act.

This bill is not the best way for Arizona workers, tech companies, or the economy. Sinema and Kelly should be in a position to oppose PRO law, grow Arizona’s technology industry, and drive innovation, job creation and economic investment.

Steven G. Zylstra is President and CEO of the Arizona Technology Council. Go to aztechcouncil.org.

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