Dick Saslaw Pushing Forced Unionism on Virginians

Girded For Battle in Right to Work Virginia

Virginia Senate Majority Leader Dick Saslaw, D-Fairfax, introduced legislation that would force employees to pay union dues or be fired and he calls it fair (SB 426).

‘Compulsory Unionism Is as Unpopular as Ever in the Old Dominion’

Boosted by ample Big Labor money and manpower flowing into their campaigns from out of state, union-label Democrat politicians have seized control of the Virginia General Assembly.

Almost as soon as the November returns were in, vocal proponents of forced unionism, whose views are shared by only a small minority of Virginians, immediately began calling on incoming legislative leaders to seize the chance to destroy the Old Dominion’s 73-year-old Right to Work law.

As this National Right to Work Newsletter edition went to press early in December, Gov. Ralph Northam (D) was refusing to give a straight answer to questions about whether he would sign legislation eliminating Virginia employees’ treasured freedom to get and hold a job without bankrolling an unwanted union.

National Right to Work Committee Vice President John Kalb commented:

“Clearly, Gov. Northam knows that the army of Big Labor political operatives who invaded Virginia last year, financed primarily with forced-dues money extracted from employees in the 23 states where such coercion is still permissible, made the difference in helping his party take over the General Assembly.

“He undoubtedly hopes he and his fellow Democrat politicians will continue to benefit from the union bosses’ campaign largesse in the future.

“That’s why, at a meeting last July with state AFL-CIO chief Doris Crouse-Mays that was secret at the time, Mr. Northam was reportedly ready to discuss a ‘potential rollback of right-to-work,’ along with other Big Labor policy objectives.

“But Mr. Northam also clearly knows compulsory unionism is as unpopular as ever in the Old Dominion.

“That’s why he is desperate to prevent any forced-fee scheme that may come up in the 2020 legislative session from being exposed as repeal of the Right to Work statute that has been on the books since 1947 and has long enjoyed bipartisan support in Richmond. In this dangerous time, freedom-loving Virginians must prepare for an all-out fight.”

Vocally Supporting Right To Work Helped 2019 Candidates Win Close Races

Mr. Kalb noted that, even though GOP candidates in the Old Dominion faced a hostile political climate, a number of those running in challenging districts prevailed thanks in part to their unabashed support for Right to Work.

For example, state Sens. Siobhan Dunnavant (R-Henrico County) and Jen Kiggans (R-Virginia Beach) defeated Big Labor-backed opponents in districts lost by GOP presidential candidate Donald Trump in 2016 and GOP gubernatorial candidate Ed Gillespie in 2017.

In House races, pro-Right to Work Dels. Roxann Robinson (Chesterfield County), Dave LaRock (Loudon County), and Glenn Davis (Virginia Beach) won despite being outspent by union boss-favored candidates.

For months prior to the fall elections, the National Right to Work Committee, which is based in northern Virginia, contacted legislative candidates, urging them to complete and return a candidate survey.

‘Cautiously Optimistic’ Right to Work Law Can Be Defended This Winter

The survey specifically asked candidates to “oppose all efforts to weaken or repeal Virginia’s Right to Work law,” as well as other bids to grant new monopoly privileges to Big Labor.

“Thanks to the Committee’s candidate survey and our extensive efforts to mobilize citizens, freedom-loving residents of districts with closely-contested races were well-informed about where their candidates stood in November,” said Mr. Kalb.

“Consequently, even though union-label Democrats Dick Saslaw and Eileen Filler-Corn [both Fairfax County] will respectively be Senate majority leader and House speaker this year, Big Labor lobbyists may not be able to collect sufficient votes to ram through a Right to Work destruction scheme.

“Thanks to Committee members’ generous support for our 2019 candidate survey and citizen mobilization, Right to Work Virginia is already girded for battle against Big Labor if and when a campaign to push forced-unionism legislation through the General Assembly is launched.

“The vast majority of rank-and-file Republicans, Democrats and Independents from all walks of life and all regions of Virginia understand it’s just plain wrong to force any employee to bankroll a union he or she doesn’t want, just to get or keep a job. I’m cautiously optimistic their common sense will carry the day.”