Right to Work Bill Introduced in U.S. House

Rep. Steve King is lead sponsor of H.R.2040, the House version of the National Right to Work Act. Credit: Congressman King’s Office

Would Bar Firing Employees For Refusal to Bankroll Unwanted Union

(Source: June 2011 NRTWC Newsletter)

With their hopes buoyed by the passage earlier this year of two new state laws barring the extraction of forced union dues from public servants in Wisconsin and Ohio, pro-Right to Work Americans are now preparing to take the offensive in the U.S. Congress.

“National Right to Work Committee members and their grass-roots allies in the Badger and Buckeye States stunned Big Labor in March when they successfully lobbied for legislation removing government union bosses’ forced-dues privileges,” recalled Committee Vice President Mary King.

“Now it’s time for Committee members and supporters nationwide to show we can lobby just as effectively in support of legislation that would repeal federally-imposed forced union dues and fees.”

S.504 and H.R.2040 Would Repeal Federally-Imposed Forced Union Dues

Ms. King continued: “When it comes to private-sector forced unionism, Congress is the culprit.

“Congress rubber-stamped the provisions in the 1935 National Labor Relations Act [NLRA] and the 1951 Railway Labor Act [RLA] amendments under which an estimated 6.3 million private-sector employees must now pay dues or fees to their Big Labor monopoly-bargaining agent, or face termination from their jobs.

“Therefore, Congress has the primary responsibility to remedy the injustice it spawned.”

On May 26, legislation repealing the NLRA and RLA provisions that authorize compulsory union dues and fee payments as a condition of employment was introduced in the U.S. House as H.R.2040 by pro-Right to Work Congressman Steve King (R-Iowa).

The Senate version of this national Right to Work measure was introduced several weeks earlier as S.504 by staunch forced-unionism foes Jim DeMint (R-S.C.) and Rand Paul (R-Ky.)

The two measures have a total of 19 congressional sponsors as this Newsletter edition goes to press.

“The principle behind S.504 and H.R.2040 is that Congress should not authorize a labor union or any other private organization to compel financial support from people who don’t want to be members,” explained Ms. King.

“The fact is, conscientious and talented employees are all too often harmed when they are forced, by government policy, to accept an unwanted union as their ‘exclusive’ bargaining agent on matters concerning their pay, benefits and working conditions.

“Harvard economist Richard Freeman, arguably the leading academic apologist for forced unionism in the U.S., has actually paid tribute to union bosses’ remarkable success in ‘removing performance judgments as a factor in determining individual workers’ pay.’

“And when unionized employees who would surely get paid more if their employer could take their personal performance into account are forced to pay dues or fees to the very union bosses who prevent their employer from doing so — that’s like pouring salt in a wound.

“Right to Work is the right thing to do, period. And it’s also sound economics.

“Years of official federal data show forced-unionism policies hinder private-sector job and income growth.”

Votes Would Draw Bright Lines Between Right to Work Allies and Big Labor Stooges

In the months ahead, Ms. King and other Right to Work leaders will deploy the Committee’s mail, e-mail and telecommunications operations to mobilize its 2.6 million members in support of recorded Senate and House votes on S.504 and H.R.2040.

“Recorded votes will advance the Right to Work cause even if Big Labor rounds up enough pro-forced unionism and union boss-appeasing politicians to prevent the legislation from passing in either chamber of Congress,” Ms. King explained.

“That’s because recorded votes will make it clear exactly which politicians support employees’ personal freedom of choice, and which are Big Labor stooges. And poll after poll shows nearly 80% of Americans who regularly vote in federal elections support Right to Work.”