Message from the former National Right to Work Committee Chairman
The National Right to Work Committee, established in 1955, is a nonprofit, nonpartisan, single-purpose citizens’ organization dedicated to the principle that all Americans must have the right to join a union if they choose, but no one should ever be forced to affiliate with a union in order to get or keep a job.
Right to Work protections have expanded to 27 states – so far. The Committee has led activists across the country in defeating thousands of legislative attempts at the local, state and federal levels to impose new forced-unionism schemes and several outright attempts to repeal Right to Work laws. We are fighting these schemes today; just look at our legislation page on this site.
Before I became personally involved with the National Right to Work Committee, I had an internal yearning for freedom and patriotism. This feeling helped lead me to National Right to Work and its mission to free all employees from compulsory unionism. My personal story illustrates the importance of the Committee’s mission.
While an enthusiastic psychiatric social worker at a hospital in Washington State, I had my “run-in” with forced unionism. Because Washington State denies employees the right to choose whether to financially subsidize a union, I was automatically enrolled into a union after the union was granted monopoly bargaining control over hospital employees. I did not think much about it at that time because I was focused on my duties and my patients.
My eyes opened after I was handed a union sample ballot telling me who I should vote for in the next election. I started reading my union’s newsletters more carefully and saw numerous stories supporting reprehensible ideas and candidates that I opposed.
It hit me: I didn’t want to keep paying for these things.
I went to the hospital’s payroll office and asked them to stop my union dues deductions. At first, the payroll department and union agreed that I did not have to pay the union because I was not part of a union bargaining unit. That turned out to be wrong, and seven months later I received a letter informing me of their error and that I was required to sign up for union dues payroll deduction again.
About this time, I heard Rush Limbaugh mention the National Right to Work Legal Defense Foundation, and I reached out to them for help. Foundation lawyers represented me in unfair labor practices charges I filed against the union, the state of Washington, and the hospital. The hospital and the union failed to notify me and other employees of their right to refrain from full union membership. After two years and aggressive legal work from the Foundation, I won my case. Washington State was required to update their employee manual to accurately portray employee rights. (Note: Since the Foundation’s Janus v. AFSCME U.S. Supreme Court victory, now no public employee may be forced to pay any dues or fees to a union as a requirement for employment.)
I experienced the corrupting effects of union coercion and know firsthand the need for the Committee to keep fighting so millions of other employees will not have to battle a union for their freedom in the workplace.
As National Right to Work Committee Chairman, I am grateful for the generosity of so many Americans committed to our mission of protecting individual freedom. The Committee’s focus remains preventing and ultimately eliminating union officials’ special privileges of coercion over workers.
Our decades of success have only been possible because of people like you. Your continued support remains critical today and in the years to come as we seek an America where no one is forced to affiliate with an unwanted labor union.
My personal experience of the negative effects of forced unionism has made me a enthusiastic Right to Work supporter. I became involved in Right to Work activities and got an inside look at how effective and passionate the people at the National Right to Work Committee are.
I carry my passion forward as Chairman of The National Right to Work Committee. I hope you will join me in supporting our mission.
I am grateful for the support of the Foundation during my legal challenges, and now the Committee for their provision of resources, energy and nationwide leadership in the effort to end forced unionism. If not for them, ordinary folks like me and thousands upon thousands of others would not have a powerful voice against a Big Labor operation that is determined to protect and expand their compulsory control over workers.
Thank you for your support of our mission!
Jennie Stephenson, Past Chairman
About The National Right to Work Committee
The National Right to Work Committee is the only national grass-roots organization in America dedicated exclusively to combatting the evils of compulsory unionism.
As part of a coalition of 2.8 million workers, small business owners and freedom-loving Americans, National Right to Work Committee members bring the power of grassroots pressure to bear on their elected officials in Congress and all 50 state legislatures.
Their message is simple: No worker should be forced to join or pay dues to a labor union in order to get or keep a job — a belief shared by more than eight in ten Americans.
Since 2012, five states enacted Right to Work laws, protecting millions of workers from the threat of being fired from their jobs for refusing to support a union.
But much work remains to be done.
Despite all the recent victories by Right to Work supporters, there are still millions and millions of workers in America who are forced to pay union dues – or be fired. These workers pay billions in forced union dues every year, just to a have a job and feed their families.
The battle against Big Labor’s multi-billion dollar forced dues political machine is constant, and thanks to Americans like you, we are winning.
Now is the time to take this fight to Washington DC to end compulsory unionism in America once and for all with the National Right to Work Act.
Because of NRTWC’s tax-exempt status under IRC Sec. 501(c)(4) and its state and federal legislative activities, contributions are not tax deductible as charitable contributions (IRC § 170) or as business deductions (IRC § 162(e)(1)).