How Out-of-Touch Are Big Labor Bosses?

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Despite the fact it is now clearly helping increase workers’ spendable incomes, top AFL-CIO boss Richard Trumka claims workers are somehow being “hurt” by the tax cut package adopted late last year. Credit: Mike Segar-Reuters

Union Officials Fume as American EmployeesTake-Home Pay Expands

Why are AFL-CIO President Richard Trumka and other union officials so angry in 2018?

For years, union bosses have been decrying the abnormally slow recovery in American employees’ pay since the end of the 2008-2009 recession.  They’ve also been insisting the key reason they fight zealously to retain Organized Labor’s current special legal privileges and acquire additional ones is to “raise wages.”

Now an array of data compiled by the federal government and nonpartisan private researchers show the U.S. wage-and-salary outlook is finally brightening.

One might suppose that would make union bigwigs happy. Only the turnaround isn’t happening because of the Big Government, Tax & Spend, and anti-Right to Work policies favored by the union hierarchy.

Even Bernie Sanders Knew 91% Of ‘Middle-Income Americans’ Would Receive a Tax Cut

At the end of last year, Big Labor loudly protested as Congress and President Trump respectively passed and signed the Tax Cut and Jobs Act (TCJA).

Since then, thousands of employers across the country have responded to the TCJA’s business tax relief provisions by hiking pay rates for and delivering bonuses to millions of employees.

And by the middle of February, employers nationwide were reducing the amount of federal personal income taxes withheld from employees’ paychecks to reflect the TCJA’s lower rates and higher standard deductions and child tax credits, along with other changes in personal taxes.

Paychecks are now higher for about 90% of working Americans because of the overall impact of TCJA changes in personal taxes alone, according to the U.S. Treasury Department.

And the tax relief average taxpayers are seeing is significant.

For example, a dual-income couple with no children making $80,000 a year can expect to get a 2018 pay raise of more than $1900 thanks solely to their personal tax cut, according to Ryan Ellis, the senior tax advisor at the Family Business Coalition.

“Big Labor bosses who vociferously opposed the TCJA when it was being debated last year and mobilized their massive, forced union dues-funded political machine in an unsuccessful bid to defeat it can’t claim to be surprised by its impact,” noted National Right to Work President Mark Mix.

“Back in December, even Big Labor U.S. Sen. Bernie Sanders [I-Vermont] admitted 91% of ‘middle-income Americans’ would receive a tax cut under the TCJA. But he opposed it anyway!”

Businesses Are ‘Not Only Raising Pay, They’re Also Investing in Their Workers’

The good news for American workers is likely to keep coming in for a long time to come.

A late January analysis by Investor’s Business Daily of new business survey data released by the National Association of Business Economics (NABE) concluded that employers are “not only raising pay, they’re also investing in their workers.”

In fact, the NABE found that early this year employers who were having trouble hiring enough qualified workers were even more likely to respond by “training [workers] internally” than by “raising pay” to recruit new workers.

Enhanced productivity from expanded job training has the potential to spur accelerated wage-and-salary growth for years to come. It may well also ignite sufficient extra economic growth to bring future federal budget deficits down to a more manageable level, if spending growth is simultaneously curtailed.

But union kingpins apparently don’t want American employees to prosper if it doesn’t happen the way Big Labor says it ought to.

At a January 23 meeting with reporters, Mr. Trumka insisted, despite all the evidence to the contrary and despite the reform’s rapidly rising popularity with people from all walks of life, that the “tax cuts” actually “hurt U.S. workers,” as Bloomberg reporter Nushin Huq summarized the AFL-CIO chief’s comments.

Forced-Dues Money Will Be Spent to Beat Lawmakers Who Helped Increase Take-Home Pay

Mr. Trumka added that he and other AFL-CIO bosses would be leading a nationwide political mobilization this year to protect senators and House members who voted against paycheck-enhancing tax cuts and defeat lawmakers who voted for them.

The Big Labor conglomerate “plans to focus political spending on key Senate and House races in Pennsylvania, Ohio, Michigan, Illinois, New Mexico, Arizona, Florida and Missouri,” according to a report by The Hill’s Lydia Wheeler, one of the journalists who was present.

Mr. Mix commented: “Of course, Richard Trumka didn’t mention whence the estimated $1.7 billion he and other union chieftains will be spending on politics and lobbying over the course of the 2017-2018 campaign cycle will come.

“The fact is, it will come over-whelmingly out of dues and fees that millions of unionized employees are forced to fork over as a job condition.

“Two federal labor laws, the National Labor Relations Act and the Railway Labor Act, authorize and promote the firing of private-sector workers if they refuse to bankroll a union monopoly-bargaining agent, even if they choose not to join the union.

“And nearly two dozen states still have forced-unionization laws covering government-sector employees.

“Forced dues-fueled political spending pays for phone banks, get-out-the-vote drives, propaganda mailings, and other so-called ‘in-kind support’ for Big Labor-favored candidates.”

National Right to Work Law Would End Private-Sector Forced Union Dues and Fees

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National Right to Work Committee President Mark Mix: Congress has an obligation to “crack down on forced-dues politicking and protect the free speech rights of private-sector employees across the nation.” Credit: U.S. House Committee on Education and the Workforce

Mr. Mix continued: “It’s just plain wrong for Big Labor to take compulsory dues and fees extracted from workers who understand they benefit from lower taxes and spend that money to defeat elected officials who voted for lower taxes.”

To  help end the abuse of independent-minded workers and the economic wreckage wrought by compulsory unionism, the Committee is backing legislation (S.545 and H.R.785) that would eliminate from federal labor law all provisions authorizing forced dues and fees.

This spring, the Committee will be pushing for recorded votes on national Right to Work legislation in both chambers of Congress.

“Fortunately, in the 27 states where Right to Work laws have been adopted and are in effect, employees are already protected from being forced to bankroll Big Labor’s pet causes and candidates,” said Mr. Mix.

“But it remains Congress’ obligation to crack down on forced-dues politicking and protect the free speech rights of private-sector employees across the nation.

“And this objective can be accomplished by passage of a national Right to Work law that repeals the handful of provisions in federal labor law under which millions of employees are still being forced to bankroll unions.”

(Click here to download the April 2018 National Right To Work Newsletter)