Congress Nearly Federalized the Mess in Madison

Congress Nearly Federalized the Mess in Madison

(Source: March 2011 NRTWC Newsletter) Time For Politicians in Both Parties to Own Up to Their Mistakes In late February, many concerned Americans in other states were paying close attention to the fierce, and still unresolved, battle over public-sector union monopoly bargaining in Wisconsin. Many observing the Madison showdown from their homes inwere undoubtedly amazed by what they saw. These five states, like roughly a dozen others, have no statutes on the books empowering government union officials to act as state and local public employees' monopoly-bargaining agents. When elected officials in such states make a judgment that a reform in public-employee compensation packages and work rules is necessary and can be prudently implemented to give taxpayers a better return on their money, they have the power to proceed. It is then up to the voting public to judge whether the reform was a good idea or not. In Wisconsin, however, like in other states which statutorily mandate union monopoly bargaining over public employee pay, benefits, and working conditions, elected officials from the governor on down have far less control over the roughly 50% of public expenditures that go into employee compensation. In the Badger State, half of state and local government employees are unionized. Elected officials and their appointees cannot make any significant changes in the way these employees are compensated or in how they are instructed to do their jobs without government union bosses' approval. Today, millions of Americans whose state and local governments operate free from Big Labor constraints appreciate, after watching the bitter struggle in Wisconsin unfold, better than ever before the importance of keeping union monopolists out of the government workplace. Only Intense Right to Work Lobbying Blocked Monopoly-Bargaining Bill What most freedom-loving Virginians, North Carolinians and Texans probably don't realize is that, just last year, the U.S. Congress came within a hair of taking away their prerogative to decide how their state and local government workplaces are run. At the outset of the 2009-2010 Congress, the votes were there to pass the so-called "Public Safety Employer-Employee Cooperation Act" in both the House and the Senate. Furthermore, President Obama was publicly vowing to sign this legislation as soon as it reached his desk. This measure, more accurately labeled the "Police/Fire Monopoly-Bargaining Bill," would have foisted Wisconsin-style labor relations on state and local public-safety departments in all 50 states.

Right to Work Legal Foundation battles for truck driver’s rights against Teamsters and wins

Right to Work Legal Foundation battles for truck driver’s rights against Teamsters and wins

The National Right to Work Legal Defense Foundation battles for truck driver’s rights against the Teamsters and wins legal victory. Allyson Bird of the Charleston Post and Courier: A state judge has ruled that a Teamsters union local discriminated against a North Carolina trucker and owes the driver $55,500 in back pay for preventing him from working on the television series "Army Wives." The Lifetime cable drama currently is filming its fifth season locally. The labor dispute arose during the show's third season, which left a makeup truck driver from Wilmington, N.C., named Thomas Troy Coghill out of work. "Army Wives" typically uses 15 to 20 drivers daily when filming, according to a court filing. Coghill began working for the show during its second season, when many drivers with the South Carolina-based International Brotherhood of Teamsters Local 509 had committed to working on the movie "The New Daughter," also shot locally. Local 509's business agent, L.D. Fletcher, threatened to picket, according to the court filing, unless "Army Wives" cut all drivers who were not members of his organization. "Army Wives" transportation coordinator Lee Siler told Coghill that he should move to South Carolina and join Local 509 if he wanted to work the third season, the court filing says. Coghill testified that he wrote and called the local -- even while in India -- but months passed without a response. Eventually, Fletcher told him the union was closed but that he would add Coghill to a "B list." Fletcher later admitted that no such list existed, according to court documents.

Murdock's defense of

Murdock's defense of "workers' rights"

Excerpts from Scripps Howard News Service and Hoover Institution Fellow Deroy Murdock's recent defense of "workers' rights" (link to complete column): Even as they scream for "workers' rights," the one workers' right that union bosses despise is the Right To Work.  Big Labor and its overwhelmingly Democratic allies oppose a woman's right to choose whether or not to join a union. Instead, they prefer that predominantly male employers and labor leaders make that choice for her. The American Left has hoisted "choice" onto a pedestal taller than the Washington Monument. Liberals and their Big Labor buddies will race to their battle stations to defend a woman's right to choose to abort her unborn child. Meanwhile, they holler themselves hoarse to prevent her (and her male counterparts) from freely choosing to accept or avoid union membership. Sen. Jim DeMint introduced the National Right To Work Act this week. Sen. Jim DeMint, R-S.C., understands that exercising this choice is a basic human right, and neither private employment nor government work should require joining or paying dues to a union. "Many Americans already are struggling just to put food on the table," DeMint said, "and they shouldn't have to fear losing their jobs or face discrimination if they don't want to join a union." Thus, on Tuesday, DeMint introduced the National Right to Work Act. Notwithstanding that right-to-work states are comparatively prosperous engines of job growth, the case for right-to-work is not merely economic but also moral.

Murdock's defense of "workers' rights"

Murdock's defense of "workers' rights"

Excerpts from Scripps Howard News Service and Hoover Institution Fellow Deroy Murdock's recent defense of "workers' rights" (link to complete column): Even as they scream for "workers' rights," the one workers' right that union bosses despise is the Right To Work.  Big Labor and its overwhelmingly Democratic allies oppose a woman's right to choose whether or not to join a union. Instead, they prefer that predominantly male employers and labor leaders make that choice for her. The American Left has hoisted "choice" onto a pedestal taller than the Washington Monument. Liberals and their Big Labor buddies will race to their battle stations to defend a woman's right to choose to abort her unborn child. Meanwhile, they holler themselves hoarse to prevent her (and her male counterparts) from freely choosing to accept or avoid union membership. Sen. Jim DeMint introduced the National Right To Work Act this week. Sen. Jim DeMint, R-S.C., understands that exercising this choice is a basic human right, and neither private employment nor government work should require joining or paying dues to a union. "Many Americans already are struggling just to put food on the table," DeMint said, "and they shouldn't have to fear losing their jobs or face discrimination if they don't want to join a union." Thus, on Tuesday, DeMint introduced the National Right to Work Act. Notwithstanding that right-to-work states are comparatively prosperous engines of job growth, the case for right-to-work is not merely economic but also moral.