Nelson, Donnelly, Heitkamp, Manchin, and Baldwin

Going ‘All in’ For Compulsory Unionism

Thumbing her nose at the majority of Wisconsin voters who support their state’s Right to Work law, U.S. Sen. Tammy Baldwin (left) openly favors a congressional scheme that would override all such laws. Credit: Scott Applewhite/AP Photo

Senators Seeking Reelection This November Target Right to Work

Seven U.S. senators who are privileged to represent Right to Work states in Washington, D.C., but have nevertheless regularly wielded their power as federal officeholders to help Big Labor corral employees into unions, are seeking re-election this fall.

Among the most vulnerable union-label senators who will be on the ballot on November 6 are Ben Nelson (D-Fla.), Joe Donnelly (D-Ind.), Heidi Heitkamp (D-N.D.), Joe Manchin (D-W.Va.), and Tammy Baldwin (D-Wis.).

The Right to Work principle is overwhelmingly popular with the people of Florida, Indiana, North Dakota, West Virginia and Wisconsin.

But Sens. Nelson, Donnelly, Heitkamp, Manchin and Baldwin have time and time again thumbed their noses at the vast majority of their constituents.

Tammy Baldwin Would ‘End’ Right to Work by Repealing Taft-Hartley 14(b)

Among these five pro-forced unionism U.S. senators hailing from Right to Work states, Ms. Baldwin is the most extreme of all.

“The three-year-old Badger State law prohibiting forced union dues and fees as a condition of employment enjoys overwhelming public support,” noted National Right to Work Committee President Mark Mix.

“Just two years ago, Big Labor political operatives poured millions and millions of dollars in compulsory-dues money into a carefully orchestrated campaign to punish lawmakers who had voted to make Wisconsin a Right to Work state in 2015.

“Pro-forced unionism Wisconsin Assembly Minority Leader Peter Barca [D-Kenosha] publicly predicted a ‘wave’ election in which many legislators who had voted against the union bosses would go down to defeat.

“But on Election Night, every single pro-Right to Work legislator seeking reelection was returned to office as the citizens of Wisconsin unambiguously rejected forced unionism.

“Unfortunately, Tammy Baldwin doesn’t care what the people of Wisconsin think.”

“She’s currently cosponsoring S.2810, legislation introduced by radical Sen. Bernie Sanders [I-Vt.] that would gut Wisconsin’s Right to Work statute and 26 other state Right to Work laws.

“As Mr. Sanders himself bluntly acknowledged in a press release regarding S.2810, this bill would ‘end’ Right to Work protections for private-sector workers across the U.S. ‘by repealing Section 14(b) of the Taft-Hartley Act.’”

Besides revoking Right to Work protections for tens of millions of employees who now have them, S.2810 would rewrite federal law concerning “card checks” to help union bosses shove hundreds of thousands of small businesses and millions of additional workers under Big Labor control.

Union-Label Senators Have Repeatedly Sided With Forced Dues-Hungry Union Bosses

Moreover, S.2810 would in some cases enable union bosses with monopoly-bargaining power to obtain forced-dues privileges without employees even getting an opportunity to vote to approve or reject the deal. Employees wouldn’t be able to do anything about it for a minimum of two years!

Mr. Mix observed that Ms. Baldwin has also gone on the record in support of federal legislation that would override state laws that prohibit monopolistic union bargaining in the government sector as well as state laws that curtail its scope, such as Wisconsin’s popular Act 10.

“Tammy Baldwin is a cosponsor of S.3151, the cynically mislabeled ‘Public Service Freedom to Negotiate Act,’ which would federally mandate the very government-sector monopoly bargaining system that has already put Big Labor-dominated states like Illinois and New Jersey on the verge of insolvency,” he said.

The other union-label U.S. senators facing Right to Work state voters this fall haven’t been quite as brazen in displaying their contempt for forced-unionism foes as has Ms. Baldwin, but they are evidently cut from the same cloth.

As senators, Ben Nelson, Joe Donnelly, Heidi Heitkamp and Joe Manchin have all regularly sided with union bosses who demanded that the federal government make it even easier for them to corral employees into unions and extract forced financial support from them.

Two egregious examples occurred just last year, when President Donald Trump’s nominations of Marvin Kaplan and William Emanuel to the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) came to the Senate floor.

At the beginning of August 2017, there were two vacancies on the five-seat NLRB, and all three of the sitting members were appointees of unabashedly pro-forced unionism former President Barack Obama.

Two of the three, Mark Pearce and Lauren McFerran, were and are radical proponents of compulsory unionism with established track records of “reinterpreting” federal law to expand union bosses’ special privileges.

Top AFL-CIO boss Richard Trumka is publicly insisting that candidates who want Big Labor support this fall must back a new federal mandate handing union bosses monopoly power over state and local public servants. Credit: Tony Auth/Philadelphia Inquirer

Vote After Vote to Keep the NLRB in the Hands of Obama-Selected Right to Work Foes

According to one published estimate, by the end of 2016, the chronic rewriting of labor law by the Obama NLRB had overturned 91 precedents and more than 4,500 years of cumulative case law.

For example, a December 2014 NLRB rulemaking action requires employers facing unionization campaigns to turn over to union organizers multiple forms of contact information for all employees, even employees who explicitly object to having their personal information fall into Big Labor’s hands.

But Mr. Kaplan and Mr. Emanuel promised, if confirmed, to change the board’s course by opposing bureaucratic schemes designed to give Big Labor even more power over individual employees than is authorized by federal statutes.

For that reason alone, pro-forced unionism Senate Minority Leader Charles Schumer (D-N.Y.) and zealous union-boss partisans like Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.) insisted the two nominations must be defeated.

Despite representing Right to Work states, Mr. Nelson, Mr. Donnelly, Ms. Heitkamp and Mr. Manchin, along with Ms. Baldwin, quickly fell in line.

They all voted to kill both nominations and keep the NLRB in the hands of Obama-selected champions of monopolistic unionism. But both were later confirmed.

In December 2017, then-NLRB Chairman Phil Miscimarra left the board rather than seek another term.

Immediately after his departure, the NLRB was evenly divided between two pro-forced unionism radicals and two members who appeared willing to uphold the very limited statutory protections workers who don’t want a union enjoy.

This April, when the President’s nomination of John Ring for the vacant seat came to the Senate floor, Sens. Nelson, Donnelly, Heitkamp, Manchin and Baldwin had another chance to show they were willing to stand up to Mr. Schumer and vote in favor of an NLRB pick who is not a shill for Big Labor.

Nothing doing. All five once again voted against ending union-boss dominance over this powerful federal agency.

Will Your Senators Vote to Revoke Longstanding Big Labor Privileges?

Mr. Mix acknowledged that Big Labor senators’ fierce opposition had not prevented Mr. Kaplan, Mr. Emanuel, or Mr. Ring from being confirmed by razor-thin margins.

“But with union-label politicians representing strong Right to Work states like Florida, Indiana, North Dakota, West Virginia and Wisconsin in Congress,” he said, “the prospects for repealing the federal-law provisions that authorize forced union dues and fees will be practically nonexistent.

“Right to Work members and supporters want a Congress with the fortitude to take away the forced-unionism privileges that union bosses have wielded for eight decades. The Committee’s Survey 2018 is critical for this objective.”

As many Committee members know, the federal Candidate Survey asks candidates to commit themselves to oppose forced unionism and support national Right to Work legislation if elected.

All major-party candidates, as well as significant third-party and independent candidates, in every U.S. Senate and House race are asked to participate in the survey program.

And pro-Right to Work citizens in every state where there’s a Senate race and every House district are contacted and requested to turn up the pressure on their candidates to respond to their surveys.

“With AFL-CIO President Richard Trumka now openly warning federal politicians they won’t get Big Labor’s support unless they agree to back nationwide Right to Work destruction and federally mandated union monopoly bargaining, the stakes are extremely high in the 2018 elections,” said Mr. Mix.

“And the federal Survey 2018 is giving union-label politicians like Ben Nelson, Joe Donnelly, Heidi Heitkamp, Joe Manchin and Tammy Baldwin a choice: pledge to reverse course and support Right to Work in the future, or face the potential political fallout.”

(source: October 2018 National Right to Work Newsletter)