Forced-Unionism Issue Hot in West Virginia

(Source: August 2010 NRTWC Newsletter)
Like President Obama, Gov. Joe Manchin has an established record of supporting union monopoly bargaining. As a U.S. senator, Mr. Manchin could help Big Labor corral state and local employees nationwide into unions. Credit:

Would-Be U.S. Senators Urged to Stand Up to Big Labor Bosses

West Virginia Gov. Joe Manchin (D) is an unabashed proponent of labor laws foisting union monopoly bargaining on public employees and government agencies.

As recently as this June, in an interview with the Charleston Daily Mail, Mr. Manchin endorsed a state law forcing local school boards in West Virginia to grant a single teacher union the power to speak for all teachers in their district, including those who don’t want to join.

According to the Daily Mail’s account, the governor actually said that such a monopoly-bargaining law would constitute a “solution” to “West Virginia’s education woes”!

Fortunately for independent-minded public employees and taxpayers, West Virginia legislators have up to now refused to send to the governor’s desk legislation handing government union bosses monopoly power to bargain over public employee salaries, benefits, and work rules.

Unfortunately, Mr. Manchin may soon have the opportunity to mandate union monopoly bargaining over West Virginia’s local public employees without the cooperation of the state’s Senate and House of Delegates.

Next U.S. Senator From West Virginia Could Cast Deciding Vote on Reid Bill

In the Democratic primary late this month to determine the party’s nominee for the U.S. Senate seat formerly held by the late Robert Byrd, Joe Manchin is considered the strong favorite. So far polls indicate that, if nominated, he will be the front-runner in the general election as well.

State AFL-CIO union bosses have endorsed Mr. Manchin for senator, making it plain that, if he is elected, they expect him to support “public employee collective [i.e., monopoly] bargaining” in the U.S. Senate.

The U.S. Congress is already dangerously close to passing legislation that would mandate union monopoly bargaining over state and local public-safety employees across the country.

And this scheme, introduced in the Senate as S.3194 by Big Labor Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.), would pave the way for federal legislation mandating union monopoly bargaining over front-line state and local public employees of all kinds.

“So far, Right to Work members and supporters have, through their dedication and generosity, succeeded in blocking Harry Reid’s Police/Fire Monopoly-Bargaining Bill,” noted National Right to Work Committee Vice President Doug Stafford.

“But if Joe Manchin becomes West Virginia’s next U.S. senator, and refuses to budge from his current pro-monopoly bargaining stance, he could cast the deciding vote in favor of the Reid bill.

“I know freedom-loving West Virginians will do everything they can to prevent that from happening.”

Federal Survey Program Invites All Candidates to Support Right to Work

Mr. Stafford continued: “This fall, assuming he gets the Democratic nod, Mr. Manchin will face increasing pressure to repudiate public-sector union monopoly bargaining and other forms of forced unionism, thanks to the Committee’s federal candidate Survey 2010.”

As longtime Committee members know, the federal candidate survey invites U.S. congressional candidates to pledge to oppose forced unionism consistently and support national Right to Work legislation if elected.

The survey is one of the Committee’s most effective tools. In West Virginia, Senate candidates in both major parties are now getting a chance to return their surveys and answer 100% in favor of Right to Work.

But in the fall, more and more Right to Work supporters will be mobilized to lobby the Democratic and Republican standard bearers to pledge to support employees’ freedom to get and hold a job without being forced to accept unwanted union “representation” or pay union dues.

“The success of the survey program is key for the Committee’s future ability to defeat Big Labor power grabs in Congress and, ultimately, pass a national Right to Work law,” said Mr. Stafford.

“For that reason, the Survey 2010 is targeting not just the West Virginia Senate race, but critical Senate and House campaigns across the country.”