Right to Work State US Reps Foist Forced Unionism on Their Own Constituents
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Sixty-six Politicians From Right to Work States Join War on 14(b)
Early this year, 224 members of the U.S. House of Representatives, including 66 from Right to Work states, voted for legislation that would cut the heart out of every state Right to Work statute and constitutional provision that is currently on the books.6
The cynically mislabeled “Protecting the Right to Organize” Act, or PRO Act — rubber-stamped by the House on February 6 — would accomplish this objective by inserting language in federal labor law that renders Section 14(b) of the National Labor Relations Act (NLRA) effectively meaningless.
Since 1947, Section 14(b) has explicitly recognized that states have the authority to protect employees from being corralled into a labor organization, even though federal law generally permits forced unionism.
But the PRO Act (H.R.2474/S.1306) states that the extraction of forced fees from employees for union monopoly bargaining, regardless of whether it benefits or hurts them personally, shall be “valid” notwithstanding “any State or Territorial law.”
Decision of 224 HouseMembers to ‘Kowtow to theUnion Brass’ Is ‘Disturbing’
National Right to Work Committee President Mark Mix commented:
“For the first time since 1965, the U.S. House has voted to obliterate the individual employee’s freedom to choose not to bankroll an unwanted union in Right to Work states that already have state laws protecting this freedom.
“Five-and-a-half decades ago, loyal Committee members and supporters regrouped after the House rubber-stamped destruction of Section 14(b) of the Taft-Hartley Act, and led the successful battle to save state Right to Work laws by launching an extended debate to stall 14(b) repeal in the Senate.
“In 2020, Committee members are optimistic Right to Work destruction can once again be blocked in Congress’s upper chamber.
“But the decision of 224 House members to kowtow to the union brass once again, after all these years, is disturbing.
“After all, in 1965, there were only 19 state Right to Work laws on the books, and just over a quarter of the private-sector employees in the U.S. were covered by one of them.
“Today, thanks largely to Committee supporters’ grit and determination, there are 27 state Right to Work laws in effect, and more than half of the U.S. workforce is protected by one of them.
“Since 1965, Big Labor has spent vast sums of money on state-level efforts to wipe out Right to Work laws.
“But over this entire period, it has had no success in any state whose citizens have had the opportunity to experience, even for a short time, what prohibiting forced union dues and fees means in practice.”
Back H.R.2474 Unreservedly,Or Big Labor Won’t Give You‘A Dollar or a Door Knock’
“Why,” asked Mr. Mix, “did five-and-a-half dozen U.S. representatives from Right to Work states just vote to foist on their states a coercive labor regime that their constituents have manifestly rejected?”
Among the 66, a handful, including H.R.2474 lead sponsor Bobby Scott (D-Va.), seem to be tunnel-visioned proponents of compulsory unionism, plain and simple, noted Mr. Mix.
But many others, he added, appear to have been intimidated by Big Labor into backing this radically anti-Right to Work legislation against their own better judgment.
Just before Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) held the House roll-call vote on H.R.2474, AFL-CIO President Richard Trumka warned all the members of the chamber that nothing less than their wholehearted support for this scheme would be regarded by Big Labor as acceptable:
“Those who would oppose, delay or derail this legislation, do not ask us — do not ask the [Organized] [L]abor movement — for a dollar or a door knock. We won’t be coming.”
‘American Dream’ LivesIn Right to Work States
“Having to choose Richard Trumka or their constituents, 66 Right to Work state solons chose Mr. Trumka,” said Mr. Mix.
The PRO Act is a smorgasbord of special-interest delights for the union hierarchy.
Right to Work destruction is the worst provision of all, but many others are also virulently anti-employee.
For example, one H.R.2474/S.1306 provision would statutorily mandate, almost as soon as any union certification campaign begins, that employers hand over employee business phone numbers, e-mail addresses, and work schedules to union organizers.
Employers would permanently be required to hand over to union organizers the personal information of all employees who might be unionized, including employees who personally asked their employer not to do it.
“If the 14(b) evisceration and other pro-forced unionism provisions in the PRO Act were adopted,” commented Mr. Mix, “the results would be disastrous for workers’ living standards as well as for their personal freedom.”
As an example, Mr. Mix cited recently-updated U.S. Bureau of the Census (BOC) data showing that it is far less difficult to make the transition from renter to homeowner in Right to Work states than in states where employees aren’t protected from compulsory unionism:
“The BOC’s tracking of housing authorizations show there were 3.64 permits for construction of privately-owned single-unit houses per 1,000 residents in the 27 Right to Work states as a group last year.
“That’s well over double the 2019 average of 1.55 per 1,000 residents in the 23 forced-dues states.”
‘Nowhere to Flee’ ForFamilies Who Couldn’tAfford to Buy a Home
“Without Right to Work states,” Mr. Mix continued, “there would certainly be far fewer jobs that pay enough to buy a single-family home nearby created across the U.S.
“And families who couldn’t afford to buy a home in slow-growth forced-unionism states wouldn’t have anywhere to flee.
“A future without Right to Work protections anywhere in the U.S. might seem like a dream come true to union bosses who care only about how much money they can extract from workers, and how much money they have to spend on pampering themselves and keeping politicians at their beck and call.
“For ordinary Americans, however, it would be a nightmare.”
Members Urged to ContactEvery Politician WhoVoted For ‘Power Grab’
“The politicians voting for the PRO Act in the face of public opposition to compulsory unionism that is now as overwhelming and passionate as it has ever been can be expected to face harsh electoral repercussions in 2020 and beyond,” predicted Mr. Mix.
At the same time, he urged Right to Work activists across the country to contact elected representatives voting for the PRO Act through the congressional switchboard, 202-224-3121, and urge them to change course before it’s too late:
“Make your voices heard. Call every politician who voted for this massive Big Labor power grab, and demand an apology for their vote to put the shackles of forced unionism on independent-minded employees in every state of the country.”
Mr. Mix added that Right to Work supporters whose U.S. representatives voted against H.R.2474 may also want to call them to express their thanks.