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On February 17th, Rush Limbaugh exposed the “real reason” union bosses in Wisconsin are in a panic: the new law will allow Wisconsin’s government employees to “opt out of joining the union” rather than continue to be forced to pay union dues without a choice.
Union bosses know, when given a choice, employees will not always willingly pay union fees. Also, union bosses know that if people can threaten to withhold dues, they can demand that the union become more responsive to its members. This can be very inconvenient for the union hierarchy.
Big Labor has fought allowing employees to choose whether our not to pay tribute to a union boss every since President Franklin Roosevelt signed the National Labor Relations Act (NLRA). The NLRA commanded every employee to pay fees to unions with employer collective bargaining contracts or be fired.
Until the passage of Taft-Hartley Act, section 14(b), employees had no sanctuary from union bosses. After the Taft-Hartley Act, employees in states that passed laws protecting employees’ choices, the “Right to Work”, employees could not longer be forced to pay fees to union bosses against the employees’ will. There are 22 Right to Work states today where employees still breath free air.