Survey Program Turns up the Heat on Union-Label Politicians
(Click here to download the July 2014 National Right To Work Committee Newsletter)
One of the very first votes Colorado politician Mark Udall cast after first taking office as a U.S. senator in early January 2009 concerned the federal policy favoring the termination of employees for refusal to join or pay dues or fees to an unwanted union.
Just 19 days after Mr. Udall joined Congress’s upper chamber, then-U.S. Sen. Jim DeMint (R-S.C.) banded together with grass-roots opponents of compulsory unionism to secure a recorded floor vote on a pro-Right to Work amendment to S.181, the so-called “Lily Ledbetter Fair Pay Act.”
As National Right to Work Committee President Mark Mix said at the time, the Capitol Hill showdown over the DeMint amendment gave Americans a chance to see which senators are for freedom, and which are for coercion.
Big Labor lobbyists carried the day. The amendment was quickly defeated. But repercussions of the vote continue even now.
This year, Mark Udall is one of the 13 senators who publicly cast their ballots to force hardworking Americans to pay union dues or fees just to get a job or keep their job who will finally have to face the judgment of the voters in their home states in order to retain their seats.
Right to Work President Mix commented:
“In order to ensure, to the best of our ability, that Big Labor and Big Labor-appeasing senators who voted to perpetuate compulsory unionism and are up for re-election this year can be accountable to their pro-Right to Work constituents, the Committee is now implementing the federal Survey 2014.”
Coloradans Overwhelmingly Oppose Forced Union Dues
At this writing, it appears that up to 10 senators who voted for compulsory unionism in 2009 will face difficult or potentially difficult general election campaigns in order to remain in office.
In addition to Mr. Udall, Mark Begich (Alaska), Kay Hagan (N.C.), Mary Landrieu (La.), and Mark Pryor (Ark.) are among the most vulnerable senators on the ballot this year who back forcing workers to pay union dues or fees just to get or keep a job.
Ms. Hagan, Ms. Landrieu, and Mr. Pryor all represent states that have enacted Right to Work laws. And although Colorado and Alaska have yet to pass such a statute, opposition to compulsory unionism is clearly growing in these states as well.
Indicative of the Centennial State’s strong public opposition to forced dues and fees, said Mr. Mix, is the ongoing failure of Big Labor to ram through the Colorado Legislature a measure authorizing any such anti-employee labor policy in the public sector.
“The only reason Colorado’s private-sector employees are forced to bankroll a union as a condition of employment,” explained Mr. Mix, “is because federal politicians in Washington, D.C., authorized it.
“State politicians in Denver have always shied away from foisting the same regime on the public sector, because they know voters will punish them severely if they do.”
Over the years, both federal and state Right to Work survey programs have become increasingly successful at deterring politicians from granting new coercive powers to Big Labor. But that is not the Committee’s ultimate objective.
Committee’s Goal Is to Revoke Longstanding Big Labor Privileges
Right to Work members, said Mr. Mix, want a Congress with the “fortitude” to move to take away, even over the objections of a Big Labor President, the forced-unionism powers that union bosses have wielded for more than three-quarters of a century.
“The Committee’s Survey 2014,” he continued, “is critical for this long-term 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.
Senate and House candidates are given several chances to return their surveys and answer 100% in favor of Right to Work.
And millions of grass-roots Right to Work supporters are mobilized to lobby candidates to respond to their Right to Work surveys.
“All major-party candidates as well as key significant third-party and independent candidates in every U.S. Senate and House race are asked to participate in the Right to Work survey program,” said Mr. Mix.
“And pro-Right to Work citizens in every state where there’s a Senate race and every House district are contacted and requested to help turn up the pressure on their candidates to respond to their surveys.
“But the Committee pours the vast majority of its survey resources into and mobilizes far more freedom-loving activists for Senate and House races that are at least potentially close and in which at least one candidate has taken a strong stand in favor of Right to Work.
“We can’t be sure at this time, but, contingent on what happens over the next few months, the Committee survey mobilization may well be operating statewide in Georgia, Iowa, Michigan, Minnesota, Montana, New Hampshire, South Dakota, Tennessee, Virginia, and West Virginia this year, along with Colorado, Alaska, Arkansas, Louisiana, and North Carolina.”
Senate Nominee in Colorado a Right to Work Cosponsor
The federal Survey 2014 is giving union-label politicians like Mark Udall a choice: pledge to change course and support Right to Work in the future, or face the potential political fallout.
Regardless of their party affiliation, union-label politicians and Big Labor appeasers will have no way to hide this year. This will be especially true when they face opponents like Mr. Udall’s, U.S. Rep. Cory Gardner, who have taken strong public stands against forced unionism.
(Mr. Gardner is a cosponsor of H.R.946, the National Right to Work Act, which would revoke Big Labor’s license to seize union dues from unwilling private-sector employees in all 50 states.)
“The stakes are extraordinarily high,” said Mr. Mix.
“Within the next few months, a National Labor Relations Board [NLRB] made up entirely of members selected by pro-forced unionism President Barack Obama is poised to impose sweeping changes to decades-old procedures under which Big Labor may achieve monopoly control over workers.
“The unmistakable aim of the proposed rules is to make it even easier for Big Labor to corral employees into unions. And the only way Congress can possibly derail this bureaucratic power grab until President Obama leaves the White House in January 2017 is through use of the federal purse strings. The NLRB cannot operate without taxpayers’ money.
“But Mark Udall and the other union-label senators seeking re-election this year, including Mark Begich, Kay Hagan, Mary Landrieu, and Mark Pryor, have track records of opposing congressional efforts to rein in Barack Obama’s rogue NLRB.
“America needs a Congress that will fight back against the Obama NLRB in 2015, and ultimately it needs a Congress that will strip Big Labor of its illicit forced-dues powers. And the Committee’s federal survey can help accomplish both of these objectives.”