So-Called ‘Better Deal’ Sounds ‘Like a [Union Boss] Wish List’
The union-label politicians who head the Democrat Party caucuses in both chambers of Congress are now publicly staking their 2018 hopes of regaining operational control of the U.S. House and Senate on the forced dues-derived might of the Big Labor political machine.
At a November 1 press conference, House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (Calif.) and Senate Minority Leader Charles Schumer (N.Y.), flanked by other top D.C. Democrats and union powerbrokers like AFL-CIO boss Richard Trumka, unveiled an aggressive package of pro-compulsory unionism legislative proposals.
Reporter Dave Jamieson of the Huffington Post quickly acknowledged that the legislative package “sounds like a wish list” for Big Labor “pretty much” because it is.
Just for starters, Ms. Pelosi and Mr. Schumer propose gutting Right to Work measures already adopted by 28 states and continuing to gain support at the state and national levels.
Section 14(b) Repeal Would Leave Job-Creating Firms With Nowhere to Flee
Ms. Pelosi and Mr. Schumer’s so-called “Better Deal” would, in the New York senator’s words, “ban state ‘right to work’ laws” by repealing Section 14(b) of the federal Taft-Hartley Act, which explicitly authorizes states to enact such laws.
Several weeks before Ms. Pelosi and Mr. Schumer unveiled their so-called “Better Deal,” 14(b) repeal had already been introduced in Congress as S.1838 by union-label Sens. Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.) and Sherrod Brown (D-Ohio).
If S.1838 were to become law, private-sector employees in Right to Work states would no longer be protected from being forced to pay union dues or fees as a job condition.
“Under S.1838, job-creating busi-nesses that have been harmed by Big Labor class warfare and/or forced union dues-funded Tax & Spend state politicians would no longer be able to mitigate the damage by growing and investing in a Right to Work state,” said National Right to Work Committee President Mark Mix.
“The practical results would be far fewer job opportunities and far slower pay growth for hardworking Americans — that is, the exact opposite of what Nancy Pelosi and Charles Schumer claim they want.”
Employees Who Defy Big Labor Strike Orders by Working Would Be Punished
Another union special-interest scheme endorsed by Democrat congressional leaders resuscitates the Pushbutton Strike Bill, legislation that the late Big Labor Sens. Ted Kennedy (D-Mass.) and Howard Metzenbaum (D-Ohio) tried unsuccessfully to ram through Congress during the early 1990’s.
Kennedy-Metzenbaum was designed to force employers to punish or even fire workers for defiance of union-boss orders to participate in an economic strike.
Enactment of the Pelosi-Schumer rehash of the Pushbutton Strike Bill would greatly expand the union hierarchy’s power to force workers to pay union dues or fees as a condition of employment.
Yet another item on union bosses’ Beltway “wish list” calls for the establishment of a new federal mandate imposing union “exclusive representation” (monopoly bargaining) over K-12 teachers, police, firefighters, and other public servants nationwide.
“If these and other pro-forced unionism measures in the cynically mislabeled ‘Better Deal’ were adopted, the results would be a devastating loss of personal freedom for workers and a shipwreck for the U.S. economy,” charged Mr. Mix.
“As even far-left journalist C.J. Atkins acknowledged in a report covering the presentation by Arkansas AFL-CIO chief Alan Hughes at last fall’s national AFL-CIO convention in St. Louis, Mo., job-creating industrial investments are currently pouring into many Right to Work states.”
In his presentation, Mr. Hughes cited multiple examples announced in his home state, Right to Work Arkansas, over just the past year or so.
Loss of Right to Work Engine Would Be Devastating For America as a Whole
The town of Pine Bluff will soon be home to America’s first-ever natural gas liquefaction plant, a $3.5 billion project that will create around 500 permanent jobs. Arkadelphia will soon be the home of a $1 billion pulp mill.
And in Forest City a former TV factory is to be converted into a spinning yarn mill big enough, in Mr. Atkins’ words, “to consume all of the annual cotton harvest of the Arkansas Delta region.” The mill will create 800 permanent jobs.
“The loss of such investments in Arkansas and other Right to Work states where, in Mr. Atkins’ words, ‘the people and the money are moving,’ would be devastating for the national economy,” said Mr. Mix.
“Some compulsory-unionism proponents may naively assume that, if Taft-Hartley 14(b) were repealed and Right to Work states basically ceased to exist, major investments like the gas liquefaction plant in Pine Bluff and the spinning yarn mill in Forest City would be made in forced-unionism states.”
Economic ‘Assets Are Not Created “Naturally” Or “Automatically”’
Mr. Mix continued: “As George Mason University economist Don Boudreaux recently observed, economic assets ‘are not created “naturally” or “automatically.’”
“In other words, if investors cannot find a location in the U.S. where they can put their money to work on a job-creating project with a reasonable confidence of earning a profit, they can choose a location somewhere else in the world, or choose not to do the project at all.
“Without Right to Work states, there would certainly be far fewer jobs created in the U.S. as a whole. And job-seekers who couldn’t find good-paying positions in slow-growth forced-unionism states would no longer have anywhere to flee.”
Of course, since Ms. Pelosi and Mr. Schumer currently head minority caucuses in their respective chambers, it is unlikely they will be able to fulfill their vow to destroy Right to Work in the immediate future.
Big Labor Stranglehold Over Beltway Politicians Threatens Right to Work
But Right to Work advocates should keep in mind it was just seven years ago that union-label Democrat politicians held the White House and operational control over both chambers of Congress.
And it would be foolhardy to assume many years will go by before they are in charge again.
“Regardless of their party affiliation, Right to Work supporters should be concerned about the Big Labor stranglehold over politicians in Washington, D.C.,” said Mr. Mix.
“Right to Work protections for employees will never really be secure until union bosses’ lock grip over one of the two major political parties in the U.S. comes to an end.”