Top AFL-CIO Boss Dead Set on Imposing Nationwide Forced Dues
With both chambers of Congress now simultaneously under their control for the first time in a decade, top union bosses have launched what journalist Braden Campbell, the senior labor reporter for Law360, calls an “aggressive lobbying campaign.”
The goal of this campaign is to push through the U.S. House and Senate and send to Big Labor President Joe Biden’s desk a radical overhaul of federal workforce policies that would, as Mr. Campbell puts it, “nullify” every state Right to Work law currently on the books.
To be precise, the misnamed “Protecting the Right to Organize” Act, or “PRO” Act, would make private-sector forced union dues as a job condition permissible in all 50 states.
Aim Is to Make Corralling Employees Into Unions as Easy as Pushing a Button
Today 27 states have Right to Work statutes and/or constitutional amendments. These laws protect the individual employee from being fired or denied a job opportunity for mere refusal to join or bankroll an unwanted union.
National Right to Work Committee President Mark Mix commented:
“The radicalism of the so-called ‘PRO’ Act, introduced in the new Congress as H.R.842 on February 4, is almost impossible to overstate.
“The common aim of this legislation’s many provisions is to make herding employees into unions as easy as pushing a button.
“But the impact of the provision destroying state Right to Work laws alone would potentially be more damaging than the harm done by all the other provisions put together.
“This provision would, in one fell swoop, wipe out eight decades of gains for the freedom of the individual American employee.
“Federal policy has explicitly permitted states to afford employees Right to Work protections since 1947.
“In 1949, the U.S. Supreme Court unanimously ruled that state Right to Work laws had even been permissible under the pro-forced unionism Wagner Act as it was adopted in 1935.
“The first two state Right to Work laws were approved in 1944. Five states have passed Right to Work laws just since 2012. Two more could potentially pass Right to Work laws this year.”
Roughly 80% of Americans Who Regularly Vote Support Right to Work Principle
Mr. Mix continued:
“Over the course of decades, polls have consistently shown roughly 80% of Americans who regularly vote in federal elections support the Right to Work principle.
“Along with the dedication and determination of Committee members and supporters, this is a key reason why Big Labor bosses, for all their forced dues-derived cash and clout, have failed over the course of the last six-and-a-half decades to repeal a single Right to Work law that had taken effect.
“But in 2021, AFL-CIO President Richard Trumka and other top union bosses are determined to seize their long-awaited opportunity to gut Right to Work protections for employees in all the states that already have them and prevent additional states from affording such protections.”
Pushbutton-Unionism Scheme Will Go to Joe Biden’s Desk, ‘Come Hell or High Water’
Mr. Trumka and company potentially have the opportunity largely because their coerced union dues-driven political machine helped install as America’s 46th President Democrat Joe Biden.
Mr. Biden declared last year he wants to “change the federal law [so] there is no Right to Work allowed anywhere in the country.”
But in order for Mr. Biden to get the chance to “change the federal law” in accord with Mr. Trumka’s wishes, H.R.842 must first be sent to the new President’s desk.
At a January 14 online meeting of union bigwigs and their militant followers, Mr. Trumka vowed that this legislation would indeed be brought to President Biden’s desk this year, “come hell or high water.”
In all likelihood, this can’t be done under the current and longstanding rules of the U.S. Senate.
Even in the U.S. House, the floor vote on H.R.842, which like its Senate companion may appropriately be referred to as the Pushbutton-Unionism Bill, is likely to be close.
To Get What It Wants, Big Labor Must First Get Senate To Rewrite Its Rules
That’s because, in the November 2020 elections, 10 incumbents on the ballot who had heeded Ms. Pelosi and voted for the pushbutton-unionism scheme earlier in the year went down to defeat.
Meanwhile, every single House member who had voted against this power grab and was on the ballot in November was reelected.
In the Senate, Mr. Trumka is apparently planning to ram through pushbutton unionism with the support of as few as 50 out of 100 senators, with Big Labor Democrat Vice President Kamala Harris breaking the tie.
Under rules that have governed the Senate for decades, this would not work, because 41 or more pro-Right to Work senators could, with freedom-loving Americans’ backing, sustain a debate blocking final floor passage of the Pushbutton-Unionism Bill until an alerted American public could defeat it directly.
But Sen. Charles Schumer (D-N.Y), Mr. Trumka’s recently installed puppet majority leader, is threatening to deploy the so-called “nuclear option” to set aside Senate rules so that pro-Right to Work senators can be prevented from conducting such extended debates, commonly called “filibusters.”
Key Senators Will Have to Decide Which Side They Are on
Mr. Mix explained:
“The ‘nuclear option’ would grease the skids for Congress to send the Pushbutton-Unionism Bill to Joe Biden’s desk.
“And if it goes to Mr. Biden’s desk, he will surely sign it.
“The fact is, Majority Leader Schumer will not be able over the next two years to pull off his ‘nuclear option’ scheme so radical and destructive legislation like H.R.842 can become law without the backing of every single Democrat senator in the chamber.
“That includes three senators — Mark Kelly [Ariz.], Raphael Warnock [Ga.], and Catherine Cortez Masto [Nev.] — who hail from states with longstanding and popular Right to Work laws and who must run again to keep their seats in November 2022.”
Mr. Mix vowed to mobilize Committee members and supporters in Arizona, Georgia and Nevada, as well as throughout the rest of the country, to put the pressure on their senators not to eliminate extended debates in the Senate this year.
“Every senator, especially potentially vulnerable, fence-sitting senators from Right to Work states, must be on notice that a vote for Chuck Schumer’s ‘nuclear option’ scheme is a vote to foist compulsory union dues and fees on independent-minded workers nationwide,” concluded Mr. Mix.