“Pushbutton Unionism” Bill Introduced to Wipe Out State Right to Work Laws
Yesterday, National Right to Work Committee President Mark Mix blasted Senators Patty Murray and Chuck Schumer, as well as Representative Robert Scott and a host of Big Labor’s allies in Congress for reintroducing the so-called “PRO Act,” which would wipe out all 27 state Right to Work laws, let Big Labor organize unions without a secret ballot vote, and impose a laundry list of other union boss power grabs. Mr. Mix explained that the group renamed the bill the “Pushbutton Unionism Bill” because “It will make forcing workers into an unwanted union as easy as pushing a button.”
“80% of Americans agree it is just plain wrong to force workers to pay union dues or ‘fees’ just to get or keep a job,” Mr. Mix stated.
“Now, after Big Labor poured millions in forced-dues dollars into their campaigns last year, these politicians have put workers back in their sights at the behest of the union bosses that helped get them elected.”
Right to Work laws have been part of the economic landscape for more than 70 years.
In 1935, Congress gave Big Labor the power to force employees to accept their so-called “exclusive representation,” where it is against the law for the workers to represent themselves.
Then, compounding the injury to independent-minded workers, they allowed union bosses to demand that workers pay for that “representation” they don’t want, didn’t ask for, and which may even be working against their interests.
Since passage of Section 14(b) of the Taft-Hartley Act in 1947, states have at least had the ability to “opt out” of the NLRA’s forced-dues provisions by passing state Right to Work laws.
The Pushbutton Unionism Bill would remove even that basic safeguard of workers’ rights by invalidating the Right to Work laws currently on the books in 27 states.
Mr. Mix pointed out that “state Right to Work laws have brought tremendous economic benefits to the states that adopted them.”
According to studies cited by Mr. Mix, job growth in Right to Work states has been double that of the forced-unionism states, the average family in a Right to Work state has $4,258 more to spend in after-tax real income, and forced-unionism states have nearly triple the number of welfare recipients per capita.
Most business relocation consultants admit that as many as half of their clients, when considering where to relocate or expand their businesses, immediately strike non-Right to Work states off the list, not even giving them a chance to compete.
That’s why, according to Mr. Mix, “Wiping out state Right to Work laws just gives companies one more reason to move their operations overseas.”
In addition, Mr. Mix noted that Right to Work laws provide a critical layer of accountability to union leadership.
“When union bosses can force people to pay dues or ‘fees,’ they don’t have to worry about what those people want or need,” declared Mr. Mix.
“Often, the only thing the union bosses end up caring about is how much money they can collect, and how lavishly they can spend it on their own comfort and on the politicians they keep in their hip pockets,” Mr. Mix continued.
The Pushbutton Unionism legislation would exacerbate that problem, by giving Big Labor the power to collect forced dues, regardless of whether or not a state Right to Work law is in place.
In addition to putting millions of workers back into the shackles of forced unionism, the bill contains virtually every Big Labor power grab that has been proposed over the last half-century:
- A pushbutton strike provision that makes it illegal to permanently replace striking workers;
- A backdoor Card Check provision empowering the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) to unilaterally overturn a workplace election, handing workers over to Big Labor without even the basic protection of a secret ballot vote;
- Adopting California’s so-called “ABC Test” to give union bosses the power to force tens of thousands of workers, currently working as independent contractors, into unions against their will;
- Allowing the NLRB to foist binding arbitration on first contract on an employer based merely on union allegations that the employer is “bargaining in bad faith”;
- Massive, multi-employer bargaining units created by codifying the Obama-era Browning-Ferris decision, perverting the joint employer standard and allowing union bosses to force themselves on employees across multiple employers at once;
- Shutting down Big Labor’s competitors by granting special powers that enable union bosses to drive merit-shop companies out of business, destroying the jobs of people who have chosen to work non-union;
- Reinstating the Obama-era “persuader rule” that makes it more difficult for employees to hear both sides before getting the chance to vote on unionization; and
- Giving the already politicized NLRB enforcement authority over its own biased rulings.
“The Pushbutton Unionism bill is chock-full of provisions, on their own, should each be enough to vote against the legislation,” said Mix.
“Taken as a whole, this Big Labor wish list amounts to nothing short of an unmitigated disaster for American workers and for our economy.
“Instead of ripping away state Right to Work protections from millions of employees and further stacking the deck in favor of union bosses, Congress should instead be protecting the rights of all workers from this sort of abuse.”
Mr. Mix called on Right to Work supporters to make their voices heard, and to “call every politician who supports this massive Big Labor power grab and demand an apology for this attempt to bring back the shackles of forced unionism across the country.”
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