Delegate Lee Carter Wants To Impose Forced-Unionism on Virginians and He’s Not Alone
Virginia Solons and ‘Tyrannical’ Compulsion
Right to Work Law Under Attack in the Land of Thomas
To “compel a man to furnish contributions of money for the
prop-agation of opinions” he “disbelieves” is “sinful and tyrannical.”
So wrote Thomas Jefferson, primary author of the Declaration
of Independence and future U.S. President and founder of the University of
Virginia in Charlottesville, in 1779.
Today, Jefferson’s conviction that “the opinions of men are
not the object of civil government” is enshrined in Virginia’s 72-year-old
Right to Work Law.
This statute prohibits union bosses from wielding their
federal government-granted monopoly privileges to get employees fired for
refusal to pay union dues or fees.
Unfortunately, a number of junior Virginia politicians do
not share Jefferson’s reverence for individual liberty.
Monopolistic Unionism ‘Reduc[es] Pay of the Most
On December 28, Big Labor radical Delegate Lee Carter
(D-Manassas) introduced H.B.1806, legislation that would repeal the Right to
Work provision (Article 3 of Chapter IV of Title 40.1) that has been in the
Code of Virginia since 1947 and add a provision that explicitly authorizes
compulsory union fees.
National Right to Work Committee Vice President John Kalb
“If H.B.1806 is approved by the Virginia General Assembly
and signed by union-label Democrat Gov. Ralph Northam, employees across the Old
Dominion will be compelled to pay Big Labor bosses just to get or keep a job.
“Employees who refuse to hand over their hard-earned money
will be fired — plain and simple.”
Mr. Kalb added that the injustice of the forced union
financial support that is authorized and promoted by federal labor policy is
magnified when the victimized workers are actually getting paid less as a
consequence of being under union monopoly control.
Among the types of workers whose paychecks are often smaller
because they are subject to so-called union “exclusivity” are those who are
especially talented and/or hardworking.
In fact, over the years, a number of academic apologists for
Organized Labor have made no bones about the fact that workers whose
productivity is above average typically get paid less when they are unionized.
Take, for example, Richard Rothstein, now a distinguished fellow with the
relentlessly pro-Big Labor Economic Policy Institute.
In a brief survey of union-friendly academic literature on
the impact of “exclusive” union bargaining on the pay of employees with diverse
levels of skill and industriousness, Mr. Rothstein has written:
“In [unionized] firms, wages of lower paid workers are
raised above the market rate, with the increase offset . . . [in part] by
reducing pay of the most productive workers. If firms with this practice are
rare, competitors will be able to bid away their best workers.”
Living Standards Generally Higher in Right to Work States,
Highest in Virginia
Mr. Kalb commented: “In addition to being tyrannical and
unjust, the forced-unionism system is associated with less real, spendable
income for people from all walks of life.”
He cited a recent study by the National Institute for Labor
Relations Research that adjusts mean household incomes in the 50 states as
reported by the U.S. Census Bureau for regional differences in the cost of
living and tax burdens.
“In 2017,” said Mr. Kalb, “the average Right to Work state
household had a cost of living-adjusted, after-tax income of $57,416, roughly
$4,500 more than the forced-unionism state average.
“And Right to Work Virginia’s real spendable income per
household was $65,959, more than $13,000 higher than the forced-unionism
average and the highest in the nation.”
‘A Growing Reversal From’ 70 Years of ‘Bipartisan
In addition to Mr. Carter, a number of other radical state
politicians in Virginia, including Delegate Cheryl Turpin (D-Virginia Beach)
and 2019 House candidates Tristan Shields, Shelly Simonds, and Jess Foster,
have recently signaled their opposition to Right to Work.
As the Richmond-based Republican Standard has
observed, the willingness of officeholders and would-be officeholders in
Virginia to come out in favor of corralling workers into unions signals “a
growing reversal” from 70 years of “bipartisan consensus” in the state.
“There is no doubt that a rising share of elected officials
in Virginia are dependent on the Big Labor machine to get in power and stay in
power,” said Mr. Kalb. “But ordinary Virginians continue overwhelmingly to
support their Right to Work law.
“The National Right to Work Committee is based in northern
Virginia, and is prepared to initiate a full-scale mobilization of grass-roots
forced-unionism foes to stop H.B.1806 if necessary.
“The Committee is also prepared, in the Virginia state elections that will take place this year, to let freedom-loving citizens know which of their politicians are defending their cherished Right to Work law, and which are attacking it.”