Union-Label Senate Majority Leader Vows to Try Again This Year
As 2021 drew to a close, Americans were increasingly concerned about skyrocketing inflation, a nationwide employed workforce still smaller by millions than it had been at the beginning of 2020, and shortages of auto parts, building materials, vital medicines, and other necessities.
Meanwhile, Big Labor President Joe Biden and his allies in Washington, D.C., were preoccupied with pushing through the U.S. Senate a massive, multi-trillion-dollar budget bill that would add inflationary pressure to the economy, discourage job creation, and worsen supply-chain bottlenecks.
But thanks to increasingly loud opposition from a wide array of ordinary citizens around the country, including grassroots Right to Work supporters, union-label Senate Majority Leader Charles Schumer (D-N.Y.) was finally forced just before Christmas to delay the power grab.
On December 18, Mr. Schumer sent his chamber home without ever bringing the Biden Build Back Big Labor Bill (H.R.5376) to the floor. A day later, Sen. Joe Manchin (D-W.Va.), a career politician who votes according to union lobbyists’ dictates the vast majority of the time, announced he would not support H.R.5376 in its current form.
Right to Work Committee Has Highlighted Handouts To Union Bosses in H.R.5376
All this unfolded as members of the National Right to Work Committee were flooding the offices of their senators and congressmen with postcards, letters, petitions, emails, texts, and phone calls in opposition to the Build Back Big Labor Bill.
Since blueprint versions of H.R.5376 began emerging last year, Committee officers and staff have documented, in numerous radio interviews aired by stations across the country and in a series of letters to Capitol Hill lawmakers, an array of ways in which this scheme would hand new privileges to union bosses.
For example, H.R.5376 spends $1 billion promoting apprenticeships. But rather than make all industry-recognized apprenticeships eligible for the funding, H.R.5376 restricts eligibility to so-called “registered apprenticeship programs,” which are typically controlled by Big Labor.
Another H.R.5376 provision would authorize National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) bureaucrats to impose, for the first time, punitive fines of up to $100,000 for every alleged “unfair labor practice.” Individual managers as well as companies would be subject to these punitive fines.
Moreover, if H.R.5376 becomes law, Biden-appointed NLRB General Secretary Jennifer Abruzzo is openly planning to impose these stiff penalties on employers simply because they insist their employees get a chance to vote in a secret-ballot election before they are subjected to union monopoly control!
Big Labor Politicians Plot to Undermine State Right to Work Laws
Right to Work President Mark Mix commented:
“For more than half a century, federal policy has generally allowed an employer who is presented by union organizers with signed cards extracted from half or more of his or her employees to insist, without further comment, that a secret-ballot election be held before the union is granted monopoly-bargaining power.
“But General Counsel Abruzzo would rewrite federal law to make it virtually impossible for employers to refuse to acquiesce to ‘card checks’ unless they had absolute proof of forged signatures or other flat-out fraud.
“She would leave them with no ability to protect their employees against Big Labor bullying, intimidation and harassment per se. And H.R.5376 would hand her the cudgel she needs to sway employers to surrender their employees’ personal freedom without a fight.”
Perhaps the most outrageous H.R.5376 provisions of all rewrite federal tax policy.
One such provision establishes a novel deduction enabling workers who fork over dues to a union to get a substantial share of their money back from the IRS.
Currently, an estimated 400,000 unionized private-sector employees in Right to Work states are exercising their legal right to keep getting paid to do their jobs without bankrolling a union they don’t wish to support.
Unfortunately, federal labor-law provisions that empower Big Labor bosses to act as the monopoly-bargaining agents of employees who don’t want to join already put them under powerful compulsion to do so anyway. By sharply cutting the dues-money cost of acquiescing to Big Labor pressure to join the union, H.R.5376 aims to weaken further employees’ determination to resist the pressure.
Right to Work Supporters Apply Grassroots Pressure
Another H.R.5376 provision creates a new $12,500 tax credit for the purchase of electric vehicles, but the credit is fully applied to vehicles made by American employees only if they are subject to the monopoly-bargaining control of United Auto Workers (UAW) union bosses.
And many of the tax credits for businesses in the bill have Big Labor strings attached. For example, private developers of “clean energy” technologies can only get their subsidies if they submit to federal Davis-Bacon requirements, which increase taxpayer costs by up to 35% and effectively prevent union-free employees from competing for contracts.
“Throughout the second half of 2021, Committee members kept contacting congressional offices to turn up the pressure on their representatives and senators to vote against the scheme that ultimately became H.R.5376,” said Mr. Mix.
“Right to Work leaders, members and supporters were making their opposition to this legislation known well before it even had a bill number.
“Unfortunately, after many wavering Democrat members had their arms twisted by union lobbyists and Speaker Nancy Pelosi [D-Calif.], all but one of the House’s 221-member Democrat caucus voted to adopt H.R.5376 on November 19.
“That was enough for the power grab to make it through the chamber, even though not a single Republican representative voted for it.”
Joe Manchin Has Vowed to Back Key Forced-Unionism Provisions of H.R.5376
Mr. Mix continued: “But the Senate, which is evenly divided between 50 Republicans and 50 Democrat caucus members, with ties to be broken by Vice President Kamala Harris, has so far proven to be a tougher nut for Big Labor to crack.
“It is only thanks to the success of Right to Work members and other concerned citizens in persuading all 50 Republican senators, including several who often vote with Big Labor, to oppose H.R.5376 that Joe Manchin is now in a position to insist this scheme be changed before he lets it be adopted.
“Of course, Mr. Manchin has supported compulsory unionism throughout his political career and is already on the record in support of several of the key pro-Big Labor provisions in H.R.5376. There is almost no chance that the fundamental anti-worker, anti-taxpayer nature of this legislation is going to change.
“And Majority Leader Schumer has already made it clear he plans to continue pushing for passage of a rejiggered Build Back Big Labor Bill early this year.
“That’s why it is absolutely critical that Right to Work advocates in state after state continue to turn up the heat on Inside-the-D.C. Beltway politicians.
“The message to lawmakers is plain: A vote for H.R.5376, or anything resembling it, is a vote to push workers into unions against their will and line the pockets of union bosses with taxpayer money. Any politician who supports this smorgasbord of special-interest plums for Big Labor should expect to face an intense backlash from Right to Work supporters.”