But Joe Biden Keeps Pushing to Destroy All Right to Work Laws
Why would Joe Biden be so eager to dim the one bright spot in an otherwise declining and dismal national economy, just over a year-and-a-half into his presidential administration?
Especially with midterm elections that are expected to be brutal to the President’s Democrat Party just a couple of months away, many Americans might find it difficult to answer this question.
Thanks to the 27 states with Right to Work laws on the books prohibiting the extraction of forced union dues and fees as a job condition, this summer nationwide employment, as measured by the U.S. Labor Department’s state household survey, was roughly where it was prior to 2020’s COVID-19 lockdowns.
According to the most recent data available as this newsletter edition goes to press, employment in Right to Work states as a group is now 1.16 million higher than it was in February 2020.
(That was the last month before politicians at all levels of government forced businesses to shut their doors with the aim of slowing the spread of the pandemic.)
Painfully Slow Job Growth Is a Chronic Problem in Forced-Dues States
But in the 23 forced-dues states combined, employment is still 1.19 million below where it was pre-COVID-19.
National Right to Work Committee President Mark Mix commented:
“During the past 12 months, inflation, as measured by the Labor Department’s consumer price index, soared by 9.1%, or more than it has in four decades. Workers’ average weekly earnings are down by 4.4% over the same period. And interest rates are expected to soar this fall.
“National employment data that continue to show, at least for now, a rebound from the steep, COVID-19-related recession of 2020 are practically the only economic indicator Joe Biden can still point to as evidence that his presidency hasn’t been a disaster for America.
“But Mr. Biden remains as grimly determined as ever to destroy the Right to Work protections, currently enshrined by law in more than half of the 50 states, that are the main reason the American employment picture isn’t totally dark in 2022.”
Part of the recent great divide between Right to Work and forced-unionism states with regard to employment can be explained by special factors, including Big Labor-backed politicians’ unaccountable slowness in lifting COVID-19-related economic restrictions.
But the main fact is that painfully slow job growth is a long-term problem in states where firing workers for refusal to bankroll a union to whose monopoly-bargaining power they are subject remains permissible.
Among the 22 states that had Right to Work laws in effect for the entire decade from 2011 to 2021, employment grew by an impressive 13.2%.
Elected Officials Who Favor Expanded Job Opportunities Back Forced-Dues Repeal
Meanwhile, aggregate employment in the 23 states that still lack Right to Work statutes or constitutional amendments today grew by just 5.7%, or less than half the Right to Work average.
“No wonder,” said Mr. Mix, “elected officials who are genuinely committed to expanding employment opportunities for all Americans are currently fighting to build Capitol Hill support for S.406/H.R.1275, also known as the National Right to Work Act.
“This much-needed reform would ensure employees in all 50 states have the freedom to choose for themselves whether or not a union deserves their financial support.
“It would accomplish this end without adding a single word to federal law, but rather by repealing all the provisions in federal labor law that authorize compulsory union dues and fees. But President Biden has made it clear, again and again, that his agenda is to take federal labor policy in the opposite direction.”
So-Called ‘PRO’ Act Is President’s Favored Weapon To Kill Right to Work Laws
During his 2019-20 campaign for the White House, Mr. Biden made his intentions plain in videotaped remarks addressed towards Teamster bosses and militants in Las Vegas: “We should change the federal law [so] there is no Right to Work allowed anywhere in the country.”
Since shortly after he entered the Oval Office early last year, Mr. Biden’s weapon of choice for effectively abolishing states’ Right to Work has been S.420/H.R.842, cynically mislabeled by proponents as the “Protecting the Right to Organize” (PRO) Act.
The common aim of this enormous bill’s many provisions is to make herding employees into a forced-dues regime as easy as pushing a button.
And the most damaging “PRO” Act provision of all states that the extraction of forced fees from employees for union monopoly bargaining, regardless of whether it benefits or hurts them personally, shall be “valid” notwithstanding “any State or Territorial law.”
In simple terms, this bill would repeal all state Right to Work laws across the country, even though there is ample evidence such laws foster economic growth by protecting employees’ individual freedom.
Joe Biden: Corralling Workers Into Unwanted Unions Is ‘Pro-American’
Big Labor Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s (D-Calif.) U.S. House rubber-stamped the “PRO” Act in March 2021, without hearing or testimony.
But since then union lobbyists have been unable to ram this power grab through the U.S. Senate due to intense public opposition mobilized by The National Right to Work Committee and other organizations.
“Sadly, the only conclusion that can be drawn from President Biden’s actions is that he cares more about pleasing the relative handful of union bosses who played a key role in putting him in the White House than he does about the fate of American employees and businesses,” said Mr. Mix.
“Addressing Pennsylvania AFL-CIO officers and militant activists this June, Mr. Biden even had the moxie to exclaim that the Right to Work-destroying ‘PRO’ Act is a ‘pro-American’ piece of legislation!
“Fortunately, if Committee members and supporters and activists of other like-minded citizen groups keep turning up the pressure on Capitol Hill, it should be possible to keep the ‘PRO’ Act bottled up.
“At the same time, the Committee is determined to keep building support for S.406/H.R.1275, and hasten the day when no employee covered by federal labor law is compelled to bankroll a union in order to get or keep a job.”