Tweedle Dee Lincoln and Tweedle Dum Halter

Tweedle Dee Lincoln and Tweedle Dum Halter

(Source: June 2010 NRTWC Newsletter) Both Candidates in Arkansas Democrat Run-Off Back Forced Unionism Shortly after this month's National Right to Work Newsletter goes to press, incumbent U.S. Sen. Blanche Lincoln will face a run-off contest against Lt. Gov. Bill Halter as she seeks her Democratic Party's nomination for a third term. Ms. Lincoln and Mr. Halter ran neck-and-neck in Arkansas's May 18 primary, and neither received a majority of the votes. (That is why the June 8 run-off is required under Arkansas law.) Most election observers expect the run-off will also be close. But one thing is already clear in advance of the Lincoln-Halter showdown: The victor will have a track record of supporting forced-unionism power grabs and giving the back of the hand to the overwhelming majority of Arkansas citizens who support their Right to Work law and oppose tampering with it. The only substantial difference between Ms. Lincoln and Mr. Halter on the forced-unionism issue is that the senator has very recently, with an eye toward the general election this fall, tried to obscure her long history of pro-forced unionism votes. Ms. Lincoln is now suggesting to freedom-loving Arkansas employees and employers that she is an "independent" voice on labor-policy issues.

Backdoor Card Check

The Craig Becker nomination to the National Labor Relations Board has a bigger impact on forced unionism than most people realize. The Wall Street Journal is an exception -- they know the impact he can have on millions of Americans who do not want to be forced to join a union: Arlen Specter's party switch has renewed the debate over the legislative prospects for "card check," which would effectively eliminate secret ballots in union organizing elections. But Big Labor might not even need card check if Craig Becker has his way. Mr. Becker is one of two recent National Labor Relations Board appointments by President Obama. The five-member NLRB supervises union elections, investigates labor practices and, most important, issues rulings that interpret the National Labor Relations Act. Mr. Becker, who is currently the associate general counsel at Andy Stern's Service Employees International Union, is all for giving unions more power over companies in elections. Only he's not sure he needs to wait for Congress. Current law on organizing provides advantages and restrictions for both sides. Employers are required to provide union reps with a list of employees and their addresses. Union organizers can visit employees at home, but companies cannot. Organizers can also make promises to employees (such as obtaining raises), which employers cannot. Companies can argue their position at a work site up to 24 hours before an election, but they are barred from coercing employees. Both sides get a seat at the table during NLRB hearings about the scope of an election or complaints about how it was conducted. Mr. Becker has other ideas. In a 1993 Minnesota Law Review article, written when he was a UCLA professor, he explained that traditional notions of democracy should not apply in union elections.

Iowans Again Defeat Forced-Union-Fee Scheme

Iowans Again Defeat Forced-Union-Fee Scheme

But Hawkeye State's Popular Right to Work Law Still Under Fire (Source: May 2010 NRTWC Newsletter)  Over the past four years, union lobbyists in Des Moines employed every conceivable tactic to ram through the Hawkeye State Legislature legislation gutting Iowa's popular, six-decade-old Right to Work law. Again and again, union officials have threatened to recruit and bankroll primary challengers to run against Democratic legislators who refused to back forced union fees. This March, one union lobbyist is even alleged to have told a state lawmaker, "You could have $100,000 in your account to fight off any challenger," if he switched his position and voted for the forced-union-fee bill then pending in the Legislature. However, the National Right to Work Committee and its grass-roots ally, the Des Moines-based Iowans for Right to Work Committee, energized freedom-loving Iowans to fight back every step of the way. And this spring, the Big Labor politicians who run the Iowa House and Senate finally backed down and adjourned the 2010 session without ever bringing up for a vote H.F.2420, the Right to Work-gutting measure introduced in the 2009-10 Legislature. Union Bosses Remain Determined To Destroy Right to Work Law Not taking anything for granted, the National Right To Work Committee legislative department kept the heat on until the Iowa Legislature called it quits after an unusually short 2010 session on Tuesday, March 30. And the battle to save Iowa's Right to Work law is far from over even now.

'Decade of Decline' in Private-Sector Jobs

'Decade of Decline' in Private-Sector Jobs

Forced-Unionism State Employment Down by 1.9 Million Since 1999 (Source: April 2010 NRTWC Newsletter) Recently, millions of Americans have been dismayed by reports, based on official U.S. Labor Department Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) data, that from 1999 through 2009 our country endured a "lost decade" in private-sector employment. In this context, the term "lost decade" refers to annual BLS statistics showing that in 2009 there were 107.95 million private-sector jobs nationwide, roughly 370,000 fewer than in 1999, when there were 108.32 million. This marks the first time since the Great Depression that an entire decade has gone by with negative net growth in private-sector employment across the U.S. However, some of the 50 states have fared far better than others over the past 10 years. And a review of how each state's job market performed suggests that the U.S. Congress could dramatically improve America's employment prospects for the next decade by adopting one simple change in federal labor policy. Private-Sector Employment in Right to Work States up by 1.5 Million Since 1999 Current federal labor law authorizes and promotes the payment of compulsory union dues and fees as a condition of getting or keeping a job. Under pro-forced unionism provisions in the 1935 National Labor Relations Act (NLRA) and the 1951 amendments to the Railway Labor Act (RLA), an estimated 6.6 million private-sector employees must pay dues or fees to their Big Labor monopoly-bargaining agent, or face termination from their jobs. At the same time, thanks to many years of vigilant efforts by freedom-loving Americans, federal labor law continues explicitly to recognize states' option to protect employees from forced union dues and fees by adopting Right to Work laws. Currently, 22 states have Right to Work laws on the books prohibiting the firing of employees simply for exercising their right to refuse to join or bankroll an unwanted union. A huge majority of the 22 Right to Work states actually experienced net gains in private-sector employment from 1999 through 2009. Overall, private-sector employment in Right to Work states is up by roughly 1.5 million since 1999. Meanwhile, the 28 forced-unionism states collectively endured a "lost decade" in employment growth far more bleak than that of the nation as a whole. In these states, private-sector employment is down by 1.9 million since 1999.

'Decade of Decline' in Private-Sector Jobs

'Decade of Decline' in Private-Sector Jobs

Forced-Unionism State Employment Down by 1.9 Million Since 1999 (Source: April 2010 NRTWC Newsletter) Recently, millions of Americans have been dismayed by reports, based on official U.S. Labor Department Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) data, that from 1999 through 2009 our country endured a "lost decade" in private-sector employment. In this context, the term "lost decade" refers to annual BLS statistics showing that in 2009 there were 107.95 million private-sector jobs nationwide, roughly 370,000 fewer than in 1999, when there were 108.32 million. This marks the first time since the Great Depression that an entire decade has gone by with negative net growth in private-sector employment across the U.S. However, some of the 50 states have fared far better than others over the past 10 years. And a review of how each state's job market performed suggests that the U.S. Congress could dramatically improve America's employment prospects for the next decade by adopting one simple change in federal labor policy. Private-Sector Employment in Right to Work States up by 1.5 Million Since 1999 Current federal labor law authorizes and promotes the payment of compulsory union dues and fees as a condition of getting or keeping a job. Under pro-forced unionism provisions in the 1935 National Labor Relations Act (NLRA) and the 1951 amendments to the Railway Labor Act (RLA), an estimated 6.6 million private-sector employees must pay dues or fees to their Big Labor monopoly-bargaining agent, or face termination from their jobs. At the same time, thanks to many years of vigilant efforts by freedom-loving Americans, federal labor law continues explicitly to recognize states' option to protect employees from forced union dues and fees by adopting Right to Work laws. Currently, 22 states have Right to Work laws on the books prohibiting the firing of employees simply for exercising their right to refuse to join or bankroll an unwanted union. A huge majority of the 22 Right to Work states actually experienced net gains in private-sector employment from 1999 through 2009. Overall, private-sector employment in Right to Work states is up by roughly 1.5 million since 1999. Meanwhile, the 28 forced-unionism states collectively endured a "lost decade" in employment growth far more bleak than that of the nation as a whole. In these states, private-sector employment is down by 1.9 million since 1999.