Big Labor Politicians Plot to Circumvent State Right to Work Laws
Thanks in part to the passage of five additional state Right to Work laws over the past decade, bringing the total to 27, a majority of U.S. private-sector employees today work in jurisdictions where they cannot be forced to bankroll a union they don’t want in order to keep their jobs.
Top Big Labor bosses see the spread of Right to Work protections as a threat to their lavish lifestyles.
And they’re right. Right to Work laws already on the books are undeniably costing them hundreds of millions of dollars in coerced dues and fees annually.
Nearly Half a Million Private-Sector Employees Exercising Right to Work
And union-label politicians who depend largely on Big Labor’s forced- dues-funded largesse to get elected and reelected are afraid of what will happen to their patrons if the growth of Right to Work protections isn’t halted and reversed.
National Right to Work Committee President Mark Mix said that Committee members and supporters deserve a substantial share of the credit for the fact that a majority of all workers, and a third of unionized private-sector workers, now live in states that afford them protections from forced union dues and fees:
“As Indiana, Michigan, Wisconsin, West Virginia, and Kentucky successfully battled to pass Right to Work laws starting in 2012, the Committee was consistently helping mobilize grassroots support and furnishing advice and counsel for supportive lawmakers and citizen groups.
“Thanks largely to Committee members’ principled persistence and generosity, today more than 2.5 million of the eight million private-sector workers in America who are subject to a union’s monopoly control may personally choose not to bankroll that union.
“And as of 2020, well over 400,000 unionized private-sector employees in Right to Work states were exercising their freedom to refuse to fork over money to Big Labor bosses without losing their jobs as a consequence.”
(The data cited by Mr. Mix here are drawn from unionstats.com, a website launched and maintained by labor economists Barry Hirsch and David Macpherson.)
Big Labor Determined to Destroy Right to Work While It Has A Chance
Union bosses have always loathed Right to Work laws, but the current session of Congress is affording them a rare opportunity to wipe out all state Right to Work statutes and constitutional provisions in one fell swoop.
In last November’s elections and “run-offs” for two U.S. Senate seats in Georgia this January, the $1.8 billion union political machine installed its favored candidate in the White House, retained control over the House, and seized control over the Senate.
Once the Georgia returns were in, then-AFL-CIO President Richard Trumka (who passed away in August) went on the record making it plain that he planned to seize the opportunity to gut existing Right to Work protections and prevent additional states from adopting them.
Newly minted AFL-CIO President Liz Shuler is sticking to the basic Trumka plan, but she is offering Big Labor politicians in Congress a choice about exactly how they attack employees’ freedom of choice.
The first option is the cynically mislabeled “Protecting the Right to Organize” Act, or “PRO” Act, a lengthy wish list for union bosses (H.R.842/S.420).
A more accurate label for H.R.842/S.420 is the Pushbutton Unionism Bill. Its core provision would make private-sector forced unionism as a job condition permissible in all 50 states, including erstwhile Right to Work states.
The second option is to rewrite federal tax policy by establishing a special credit or deduction enabling workers who fork over union dues to get all, or at least a substantial share, of their money back from the IRS.
Of course, the taxpayers picking up the tab for this Big Labor scheme would have no say with regard to how their money is spent.
Union Monopoly Bargaining Puts the Employee ‘Under Powerful Compulsion’ to Join
Union-label Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.) reportedly intends to make taxpayer-subsidized union dues part of the monstrous, $3.5 trillion “reconciliation” bill that he and House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) are attempting to finalize as this Newsletter edition goes to press.
Mr. Mix said the Schumer scheme, which was the subject of an August 10 news story by Bloomberg reporters Ben Penn, Ian Kullgren, and Andrew Kreighbaum, makes it even easier for Big Labor bosses to exploit the ample power they wield over unionized employees in Right to Work states to its fullest extent:
“Back in 1962, Thomas E. Harris, then a top AFL-CIO lawyer, made an important point that is truer than ever today.
“The very fact that a union is legally empowered to ‘negotiate the contract which regulates the incidents of [a worker’s] industrial life,’ admitted Mr. Harris, ‘puts him under powerful compulsion to join the union.’
“If the dues-money cost of workers’ acquiescing to Big Labor pressure to join the union is cut sharply or even eliminated, their determination to resist the pressure will be much lower. That’s what the union hierarchy is counting on.”
Committee Fighting to Save Right to Work Laws
As soon as Big Labor congressional leaders’ plot to gut Right to Work laws by forcing taxpayers to subsidize union-dues payments surfaced, Right to Work legislative staff began contacting key Capitol Hill allies to affirm their strong opposition and offer assistance in thwarting the scheme.
“Unfortunately, tax funding for union dues is just one of several outrageous Big Labor power grabs that Chuck Schumer and Nancy Pelosi are expected to try to ram through Congress and send to President Joe Biden’s desk this fall as part of the so-called ‘reconciliation’ measure,” said Mr. Mix.
“By dressing up these power grabs as ‘budgetary’ matters, Mr. Schumer aims to pass them through the Senate solely with votes from his 50-member Democrat caucus, with Vice President Kamala Harris breaking the tie in the 100-member chamber.
“Decades of Right to Work progress are at risk as the ‘budget-reconciliation’ moves forward. This is a fight the Committee and its members simply can’t afford to lose.”