National Right to Work Act Now Before Congress

Measure Would Repeal Every Forced-Dues Provision in Federal Law

National Right to Work Act
The Right to Work Bill, introduced in the Senate by Rand Paul (R-Ky.), would remove Big Labor’s federally authorized power to force workers to pay union dues or fees as a condition of employment. (Credit: Sarah Silbiger, Getty Images)

With their hopes buoyed by recent federal data showing that, for the first time ever, a majority of American employees today earn a living in states that prohibit forced union dues and fees, pro-Right to Work citizens are now taking the offensive in the U.S. Congress. 

“In the second decade of the 21st Century, grassroots activists, assisted by the National Right to Work Committee, increased the number of states that ban compulsory dues and fees as a job condition from 22 to 27,” commented Committee President Mark Mix.

“Now it’s time for Right to Work supporters nationwide to show we can lobby just as effectively in support of legislation that would repeal federally imposed forced union dues and fees.”   

Today 27 states have Right to Work statutes and/or constitutional amendments. These laws protect the individual employee from being fired or denied a job opportunity for mere refusal to join or bankroll an unwanted union. For decades, Right to Work states have greatly outpaced forced-unionism states in job growth. 

And employees in Right to Work states enjoy higher compensation than their counterparts in forced-dues states when regional differences in the cost of living are taken into account.

Right to Work States Lead American Recovery From COVID-19 Recession

Mr. Mix noted that Right to Work states’ economic advantage was perhaps never before as apparent as it has been since businesses and employees alike were hammered by the COVID-19 pandemic and the draconian political responses to it at the federal, state and local levels.

“In January 2020, there were 78.11 million employed people in Right to Work states, and 78.49 million people employed in non-Right to Work states, according to seasonally adjusted data from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics household survey,” said Mr. Mix.

“In short, the total number of people employed was roughly 388,000 higher in forced-dues states at the beginning of 2020, even though long-term employment growth has been far slower in such states.

“By December 2020, the tables were turned. 

“Thanks to a far stronger recovery in Right to Work states, at the end of last year, there were 1.7 million more people employed in Right to Work states than in non-Right to Work states, according to current data from the same survey.

“Overall employment in Right to Work states is now far closer to getting back to its pre-COVID-19 level than is the case in forced-unionism states.

“And this progress has been achieved safely. In fact, COVID-19 fatalities per million residents are significantly lower on average in Right to Work states than in forced-unionism states.”

Forced Dues Pour Salt In Wounds of Workers Already Hurt by Big Labor

Right to Work laws promote fairness as well as prosperity.

There is simply no credible justification for forcing employees to bankroll a union if they choose not to belong to it.

As even pro-Big Labor coercion law professor Sheldon Leader has admitted, under so-called “exclusive” union bargaining, workers who don’t want a union are “often actually made worse off than they were before.”

The eminent late Pennsylvania law professor Clyde Summers strongly concurred, rejecting union-boss attempts to use monopoly bargaining as an excuse for forced union dues.

Under union “exclusivity,” noted Dr. Summers, “Full-timers may bargain to limit the jobs of part-timers, seniority provisions may disadvantage younger workers, and wage increases of the low skilled may be at the expense of the highly skilled.”

Despite the lack of any economic or moral grounds for their stance, President Joe Biden and the overwhelming majority of his fellow Democrats in Congress want to make it permissible for union bosses in all 50 states to pour salt in the wounds of workers who fare worse under Big Labor domination.

Mr. Biden and his cohorts want to change federal law so that union bosses across America, and not just in the 23 states that currently lack Right to Work protections, can add insult to the injuries of the workers they hurt through monopoly bargaining by extracting forced fees from them as well.

Joe Biden Wants to Gut Every Single Right to Work Law

Their vehicle of choice is H.R.842, a power grab introduced by Big Labor Congressman Bobby Scott (D-Va.) and now cosponsored by 212 House members.

While proponents label this smorgasbord of special privileges for union bosses as the “PRO” Act, it is more accurately referred to as the Pushbutton-Unionism Bill. 

Its core provision would nullify every state Right to Work law on the books, and prohibit the spread of Right to Work protections to new states, by making private-sector forced union fees as a job condition permissible nationwide.

Soon after this Newsletter edition goes to press in early March, union-label Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s (D-Calif.) House is expected to obey the commands of AFL-CIO President Richard Trumka and other top union bosses by rubber-stamping H.R.842.

Mr. Mix vowed that the 2.8 million members of the National Right to Work Committee would lead the charge to defeat the Pushbutton-Unionism Bill in the Senate.

Meanwhile, even as Mr. Trumka and his cohorts push for the evisceration of all state Right to Work laws, grassroots citizens are fighting to ensure private-sector workers in all 50 states are protected from forced union dues.

Even as AFL-CIO President Richard Trumka pushes for the destruction of all state Right to Work laws, grassroots citizens are fighting to ensure private-sector workers in all 50 states are protected from forced union dues. (Credit: Sarah Silbiger, Reuters)

‘The Contrast For Workers Could Not Be Clearer’

On February 24, Sen. Rand Paul (R-Ky.) and Congressman Joe Wilson (R-S.C.) introduced the National Right to Work Act (S.406/H.R.1275) in both chambers of Congress.

This one-page bill would not add a single word to federal law. 

Instead, it would simply repeal all the current labor-law provisions that authorize compulsory union dues and fee payments as a condition of employment.

“The contrast for workers could not be clearer,” noted Mr. Mix.

“H.R.842 is a massive and monstrous scheme handing union bosses sweeping new powers to control the American workplace. 

“Worst of all, it would destroy the 27 state Right to Work laws already on the books.

“But the National Right to Work Act consists of just 166 words and does one simple thing:  It lets workers choose for themselves whether a union deserves their support.” 

Right to Work Members Will Keep Turning up The Heat on Politicians

Mr. Mix continued:

“Throughout this spring, Right to Work members will keep turning up the pressure on their elected officials in Washington, D.C. to support S.406/H.R.1275, the National Right to Work Act. 

“Every member of Congress needs to understand that, if he or she wishes to be known as a Right to Work ally, it is not sufficient merely to oppose outrageous Big Labor power grabs like the Pushbutton-Unionism Bill.

“It is also necessary to oppose special privileges for union bosses that are already embedded in federal law, including, first and foremost, the privilege to force employees to pay for union monopoly bargaining they never asked for or wanted, on pain of termination.”