Presidential Candidates Bow to Big Labor Bosses, Target Right to Work Freedom

Presidential Hopefuls Vow to Kill Right to Work

Mark Mix: Kamala Harris and many other presidential candidates are willing to promise to corral millions of Americans into unions against their will in exchange for the $2 billion union political machine’s support. Credit: Fox News

Pay Big Labor to Undercut Your ‘Economic Interests,’ or Be Fired!

Kamala Harris, the junior U.S. senator from California and one of roughly 20 hopefuls for the Democrat Party’s 2020 presidential nomination, knows full well that many employees who are subject to union monopoly bargaining would be better off if they weren’t.

In fact, in the fall of 2015, Ms. Harris and several other statewide California officeholders effectively admitted that laws authorizing union bosses to act as the sole spokesperson for members and non-members alike in contract negotiations with the employer can and often do hurt talented employees.

At that time, Ms. Harris was California’s attorney general.

Even after publicly acknowledging in 2015 that union bosses have “substantial latitude” under labor statutes to harm talented employees’ “economic interests,” Kamala Harris has persisted in virulently opposing Right to Work laws. Credit: SEIU, ULTCW

She, state Solicitor General Ed DuMont, and several of their lieutenants, along with officers of the National Education Association (NEA) union and its Golden State subsidiary, the California Teachers Association (CTA), were the respondents in Friedrichs v. CTA, a case before the U.S. Supreme Court.

Big Labor Has ‘Substantial Latitude’ to Harm ‘Economic Interests’ of Many Workers

The Friedrichs plaintiffs were 10 independent-minded public educators. They were challenging the constitutionality of California’s laws foisting forced union dues and fees as a job condition on government-sector workers.

In their September 2015 merits brief to the High Court, the plaintiffs drew upon passages in the NEA Handbook to make the case that the respondent unions “advocate numerous policies that affirmatively harm teachers . . .” :

“NEA considers any ‘system of compensation based on an evaluation of an education employee’s performance’ to be ‘inappropriate’ and ‘opposes providing additional compensation to attract and/or retain education employees in hard-to -recruit positions.’”

Teachers who “care more about rewarding merit than protecting mediocre teachers” should “oppose these policies,” concluded the Friedrichs plaintiffs, who were represented by a team of attorneys led by Michael Carvin of the Cleveland-based law firm Jones Day.

The plaintiffs added that “teachers who specialize in difficult subjects (like chemistry or physics), but are trapped in union-obtained pay systems that stop them from out-earning gym teachers,” should also oppose those polices.

In the reply briefs they filed in November 2015, the pro-forced unionism respondents did not contest the fact that many teachers get paid less due to union monopoly bargaining.

And Ms. Harris and Mr. DuMont actually confirmed in their brief that, under statutes and case law authorizing monopolistic unionism, Organized Labor officials “do have substantial latitude to advance bargaining positions that . . . run counter to the economic interests of some employees.”

Union-Label Politicians ‘Do Not Have the Best Interests Of Workers at Heart’

Even as they acknowledged that Big Labor undercuts the economic interests of many teachers and other employees, the union-label California politicians continued to argue it is sound public policy to authorize the termination of such employees if they refuse to bankroll a union they don’t want!

On the presidential campaign trail in Las Vegas this April 27, Ms. Harris aggressively reaffirmed her support for forced union dues and fees and declared her intention to wipe out Right to Work protections for employees nationwide.

“Banning Right to Work laws” would be one of the first initiatives she would undertake in the White House, Ms. Harris vowed to an audience of union professionals and their militant followers.

National Right to Work Committee President Mark Mix commented:

“Kamala Harris’ ugly message to employees across America is ‘Pay Big Labor to undercut your “economic interests,” or be fired from your job.’

“Clearly, pro-forced unionism politicians like Ms. Harris do not have the best interests of workers at heart.”

Many 2020 Democrat Presidential Hopefuls Are Targeting Right to Work

Mr. Mix, appearing on the nationally televised Fox & Friends show, emphasized that the California senator is far from the only candidate for the 2020 Democrat presidential nomination who has gone on the record in support of foisting compulsory unionism on employees nationwide.

In fact, one of the contenders to be the Democrat standard-bearer, Vermont U.S. Sen. Bernie Sanders, was the lead sponsor last year of S.2810, the cynically mislabeled “Workplace Democracy Act,” legislation that would have wiped out all 27 current state Right to Work laws.

As if that weren’t enough, the Sanders scheme, which he is expected to reintroduce soon in the current Congress, would also have rewritten 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. 

Under yet another provision in S.2810, if union heads and employers negotiating a first contract failed to make a deal within roughly four months, a federal “arbitration panel” would have unilaterally implemented a contract binding for two years on union members and non-members alike.

“S.2810 would have enabled union bosses with monopoly-bargaining power to circumvent altogether the wishes of unionized workers by prevailing upon federal bureaucrats to give them forced-dues privileges,” said Mr. Mix.

“And workers wouldn’t have been able to do anything about it for a minimum of two years.”

Along with Mr. Sanders and Ms. Harris, other 2020 presidential candidates who signed on to S.2810 include Sens. Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.) and Kirstin Gillibrand (D-N.Y.).

Among the other Democrat White House hopefuls who are now most loudly proclaiming their opposition to Right to Work are former Obama Cabinet member Julian Castro and former Colorado Gov. John Hickenlooper.

Right to Work Repeal Would Leave Job-Creating Firms With Nowhere to Flee

If Big Labor politicians got their way and all state Right to Work laws were wiped off the books, job-creating businesses that have been harmed by Big Labor class warfare would no longer be able to mitigate the damage by growing and investing in jurisdictions without compulsory unionism.

“From 2013 to 2018, according to U.S. Department of Labor data, payroll manufacturing employment grew by 425,000, or 7.6%, in states that had Right to Work laws on the books for the entire five years,” noted Mr. Mix.

“In both percentage and absolute terms, manufacturing employment growth was roughly two-and-a-half times as great as it was in forced-dues states.

“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 jobs in slow-growth forced-unionism states would no longer have anywhere to flee.”

Right to Work Committee Prepared to Fight Back

The good news, said Mr. Mix, is that the American people continue, overwhelmingly, to oppose forced unionism.

He explained: “Kamala Harris and many other presidential candidates are obviously willing to promise to corral millions of Americans into unions against their will in exchange for the $2 billion union political machine’s support.

“But the support of that machine, as formidable as it is, will not be enough for a pro-forced-dues White House hopeful to prevail a year from November, if the overwhelming majority of Americans who support Right to Work recognize that this important freedom is increasingly at risk.

“And thanks to the ongoing generous support of our 2.8 million members across the country, I am confident the National Right to Work Committee will be fully prepared to sound the alarm about the rising threat of compulsory unionism through our federal candidate survey program in 2020.”

(source: June 2019 National Right to Work Newsletter)

If you have questions about whether union officials are violating your rights, contact the Foundation for free help. To take action by supporting The National Right to Work Committee and fueling the fight against Forced Unionism, click here to donate now.

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