Hoosiers Deliver Clear Message to Congress

Mark Mix: "The only reason Hoosiers had to battle against the Big Labor machine for years to enact a Right to Work law is that Congress imposed forced unionism on their state . . . ." Credit: wsj.com


Indiana Right to Work Battle ‘Really Resonates With Americans’

(source: National Right to Work Committee February 2012 Newsletter)

Hoosier legislators’ approval early this year, by decisive margins in both chambers of the General Assembly, of H.B.1001, a measure making Indiana America’s 23rd Right to Work state, is giving a boost to freedom-loving citizens’ efforts to secure votes in the U.S. Congress on national Right to Work legislation.

Wall Street Journal “Potomac Watch” columnist Kim Strassel alluded to the potential impact of a Right to Work victory in Indiana on a Fox News broadcast aired January 14, just as the battle at the state capitol in Indianapolis was heating up:

“This is an issue in Indiana that really resonates with Americans . . . ‘Are you going to be forced to join a union and pay dues?’ Most Americans don’t agree with that. If Republicans can frame that in a national debate, it definitely helps them.”

Bad Federal Policy Is the Reason Indiana Had to Pass a Right to Work Law

Mark Mix, president of the National Right to Work Committee, later commented on Ms. Strassel’s observation:

“Of course, scientific surveys regularly show rank-and-file Democrats and Independents, as well as rank-and-file Republicans, overwhelmingly oppose compulsory unionism.

“But in national politics and in many states like Indiana, Big Labor at this time owns Democrat elected officials, lock, stock and barrel. Therefore, Kim Strassel was absolutely correct in saying that Republican elected officials can benefit greatly by highlighting the importance of the Right to Work issue.

“Clearly, it’s time for Congress to consider the National Right to Work Act [H.R.2040/S.504], which would repeal the federal labor law provisions authorizing forced union dues.”

H.R.2040 and S.504 would abolish the 1935 National Labor Relations Act (NLRA) provisions and 1951 Railway Labor Act (RLA) amendment that authorize the firing of employees for refusal to pay union dues or fees.

Because it denies employees who oppose irresponsible union bosses’ straight-jacket work rules and hate-the-boss class warfare the freedom to fight back by cutting off their dues, current federal labor law ultimately slows productivity growth and makes America poorer.

“Right to Work supporters’ entirely appropriate jubilation over our Indiana victory shouldn’t cause us to forget that it’s Congress, not any state legislature, that spawned the evil of private-sector forced union dues in the first place,” said Mr. Mix.

“The only reason Hoosiers had to battle against the Big Labor machine for years to enact a Right to Work law is that Congress imposed forced unionism on their state, just as it did on 49 other states.

“Even once Indiana’s Right to Work is fully in effect, because of federally-imposed loopholes union bosses will still wield the power to get airline and railroad employees and employees on so-called ‘exclusive federal enclaves’ fired for refusal to pay dues or fees.”

Congress Has the Duty To Correct the Evil Federal Labor Policy Sustains

“Fortunately,” Mr. Mix added, “H.R.2040 and S.504 would close these loopholes, which were drilled into every state Right to Work law by Congress and the federal courts.

“The Indiana victory shouldn’t blind us to the fact that Congress even today is perpetuating the problem of private-sector forced union dues. Ultimately, Congress must solve it once and for all by passing the National Right to Work Act.”

Mr. Mix said hearings and a floor vote on H.R.2040, introduced by pro-Right to Work Congressman Steve King (R-Iowa) and now sponsored by a total of 72 House members, would be good first steps.

“Because the Committee and Sen. Jim DeMint [R-S.C] successfully pressed for a floor roll call on forced-dues repeal in 2009, Big Labor senators seeking reelection this year are feeling the heat from their constituents for voting against Right to Work,” Mr. Mix explained.

“If Speaker John Boehner [R-Ohio] now keeps his 2010 campaign pledge to allow a House recorded vote on forced-dues repeal, concerned citizens will know as well which House members support employees’ freedom of choice, and which are Big Labor stooges.

“That alone will make a major difference.

“Poll after poll shows nearly 80% of Americans who regularly vote in federal elections support the Right to Work principle.”