The Real Issue in the Government Worker Union Battle
NRTW President Mark Mix from the Investor's Business Daily:
In Wisconsin, union officials — with support from the Obama White House — continue to orchestrate illegal teacher strikes, lead angry mass protests at the state capitol and picket the residences of legislators to safeguard Big Labor's government-granted monopoly bargaining power over hundreds of thousands of Badger State public employees.
Raucous union rallies and intimidation of elected officials and their families in support of Big Labor's purported "right" to unchallenged monopoly bargaining control are occurring in other states as well.
Americans learning about organized labor's battles in Wisconsin, Ohio, Indiana and other states from TV, radio and newspaper reports may understandably be confused about what is at stake, especially if they have no personal experience with unions themselves. From afar, it's easy to draw the conclusion that public employees' right to join a union is at stake.
But that is hardly the case. Public employees' freedom to join and pay dues to labor organizations is already legally protected across the U.S. and is not being challenged anywhere. What reform-minded elected officials are seeking to curtail, and in some cases even abolish, is government union chiefs' legal power to force public servants into a union as a condition of employment.
Under the current labor laws of nearly half of the states, government union officials have been explicitly authorized to force all public employees in a workplace to pay union dues or be fired, as long as a majority of their fellow employees (among those expressing an opinion) support unionization.
Such forced-unionism laws, which Big Labor is now fighting furiously to keep on the books in the face of increasingly intense public opposition, actually trample on, rather than protect, employees' freedom to make personal decisions about unionism.