The National Right to Work Committee sent the 2012 Presidential Survey questionnaire (image below) to 2012 presidential candidates. We provided each candidate the Backgrounder along with the Survey. (Click to download of a blank copy of the Survey and Backgrounder)
The information below is helpful in explaining the questions on the front of this form.
1. The firing of workers who refuse to pay union dues and/or fees is explicitly authorized and promoted by both the National Labor Relations Act (NLRA) and the Railway Labor Act (RLA).
Union officials use a large portion of workers’ compulsory-dues dollars for “in-kind” political spending on goods and services to elect candidates for federal offices.
Recent examination of union LM-2 filings with the Department of Labor reveal that Big Labor admits to spending more than a BILLION dollars per election cycle on political activities.
The problem of compulsory unionism was created by Congress. It will not be solved until Congress repeals the existing federal authorizations of compulsory unionism.
2. A union, under present federal laws, is empowered to represent and bind all employees in a company’s bargaining unit — including employees who oppose the union and don’t want its “services.”
This monopoly bargaining power, generally described as “exclusive bargaining,” deprives employees of their right to bargain for themselves. Union officials fought for this power and refuse to give it up; yet they complain they are “unfairly burdened by the legal obligation” to represent non-members.
Such complaints are intended to pave the way for forcing objecting workers to pay for representation they do not want.
3. In 23 states, wage earners covered by the NLRA are shielded from forced-dues payment by Right to Work laws.
These laws typically say, “No person shall be required, as a condition or continuation of employment, to pay any dues, fees, assessments, or other similar charges, however denominated, of any kind or amount to a labor organization.”
The authority of states to adopt and enforce such laws is reaffirmed by Section 14(b) of the Taft-Hartley Act.
4. Extortion, as a technique, is extremely useful to union officials in obtaining demands for compulsory-union shops, “agency” shops, compulsory-union hiring halls, irrevocable dues check-offs and other coercive contract clauses.
While most criminal law is administered at the state and local levels, Congress has imposed federal penalties against criminal obstruction of interstate commerce (through extortion, for example), because state and local law enforcement are often ill-equipped to restrain this type of criminal activity.
But, as federal law currently stands, union officials have unique immunities from prosecution for committing or threatening to commit felonies — such as murder, manslaughter, maiming, arson, property destruction, explosives or firearms offenses, etc. — to block interstate commerce if they seek to obtain “legitimate union objectives.”
5. For many years, Congress has seen bills to authorize the forced unionization of public employees at various levels of government.
Several of these proposals are aimed at state, county and municipal employees and would nullify existing state laws which shield public employees from union monopoly bargaining and other forms of union coercion.
Other bills would strip postal workers and other federal employees of the freedom to refuse to pay union dues guaranteed by the Postal Reorganization Act of 1970 and executive orders dating back to the Kennedy Administration.
6. Congress has considered bills that would revamp existing federal labor law and make it much easier for union organizers to obtain recognition as employees’ “exclusive” monopoly bargaining “representatives” — including those employees who don’t want union “representation.”
These bills would give union officials more powerful weapons to force American workers under union bargaining control and force them to pay union dues to keep their jobs.
7. Congress has previously considered legislation that would impose the so-called “card check” process on workers. Under “card check,” union organizers are only required to “convince” a majority of workers into signing so-called “union authorization cards.”
Independent-minded workers who choose not to sign cards become targets of harassment, threats or even violence.
8. Over the past two and a half years, the Obama Administration has imposed Project Labor Agreements (PLAs) via executive orders.
Project Labor Agreements require that private companies bidding on government contracts sign agreements to force all their employees to pay union dues and contribute to bankrupt union pension plans, from which their employees will never receive benefits.
Amendments to appropriation bills to ban PLAs have recently been voted on, but so far have failed to pass.
9. Legislation has been introduced in Congress to mandate that all states impose monopoly union representation on all local and state police, firefighters and emergency workers.
The legislation would override several state laws that prohibit government entities from requiring that individual workers be represented by labor unions. Additionally, the legislation puts the federal government bureaucracy in charge of establishing so-called “minimum standards” and enforcing the law.
In states where union officials have already been granted this monopoly bargaining power, public safety union officials simply ignore no-strike clauses, and hold taxpayers hostage until their demands are met, virtually always guaranteeing higher taxes for the public.