Virginia Democrat Politicians Embrace Big Labor

Virginia Democrat Politicians Embrace Big Labor Credit: Jack Knox/Nashville Banner

State Right to Work Law’s Fate May Hinge on 2019 Election Returns

A state Right to Work law that enjoyed strong bi-partisan support for many years is now in danger of being effectively destroyed as soon as early next year.

At first, the rising threat to Virginia’s 72-year-old ban on forced union membership, dues and fees may seem hard to fathom.

Over the course of decades, citizens across the state have again and again voted to keep in office the politicians who have supported the Virginia Right to Work law and oust those who have sought to undermine it.

That’s why, for many years, all Old Dominion governors of both parties — including Democrats like Mark Warner, Tim Kaine, and Terry McAuliffe — publicly supported keeping Virginia’s Right to Work law as it is while they were campaigning and for as long as they continued to hold state office.

‘[Monopolistic] Unions Are the Backbone’ of The Democrat Party           

The dismaying reason for the evaporation over the past three or four years of the Old Dominion’s consensus that unionism should be voluntary is actually simple:

Big Labor is now demanding that, even in staunchly pro-Right to Work states like Virginia, politicians must support compulsory unionism to receive its backing.

“There is no doubt that a rising share of elected officials in Virginia are dependent on the Big Labor machine to get in power and stay in power,” noted National Right to Work Committee President Mark Mix.

If Rep. Elaine Luria and the six other Virginia Democrats currently in the U.S. House have their way, employees in their districts will suffer devastating losses of personal freedom in the workplace and job opportunities. Credit: WYDaily (Williamsburg, Va. photo, courtesy of Elaine Luria for Congress)

“Nowadays, left-wing activists around the country, and in Virginia specifically, who personally aren’t union officials advise their favored candidates that they must get on board with forced unionism because they cannot win electorally without Big Labor money and manpower.

“In the words of Virginia Democrat strategist Pete Davis, monopolistic ‘unions are the backbone of our party . . ..’ That’s why, he suggests, Democrat politicians ‘across the state’ are committed to rewriting state employment laws according to Big Labor bosses’ wishes.” 

Of course, seasoned Big Labor operatives aren’t advising union-label politicians who represent jurisdictions in Virginia and other adamantly pro-personal freedom states to commit political suicide by openly advocating the abolition of Right to Work laws.

The union hierarchy is fully satisfied when its puppet politicians back measures that formally leave existing Right to Work laws in place but render them almost meaningless by inserting pro-forced unionism “amendments.”

Virginia Congressman Leads Charge For Evisceration Of Right to Work Laws

That’s precisely the cynical approach to Right to Work protections taken by Virginia Congressman and U.S. House Education and Labor Committee Chairman Bobby Scott (D) in H.R.2474, his mislabeled “Protecting the Right to Organize,” or PRO Act.

The PRO Act (also introduced in Congress’ upper chamber as S.1306 by Big Labor Washington Democrat Sen. Patty Murray) is, as Mr. Mix puts it, a “smorgasbord of special-interest delights for the union hierarchy.”

Among all the provisions in the PRO Act, the single most outrageous one would amend the National Labor Relations Act to empower private-sector union bosses in all 50 states, including the 27 erstwhile Right to Work states, to force employees to pay union fees against their will.

The PRO Act does not directly repeal Section 14(b) of the 1947 Taft-Hartley Act, which explicitly authorizes states to prohibit within their jurisdictions the very forced-dues and forced-fees job requirements that federal labor law  generally authorizes and promotes.

Instead of eliminating 14(b), the Murray-Scott bill throws in a provision stating 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.”

Seven U.S. House Members From Virginia Now Ready to Cut Heart Out of Right to Work

“Nearly half of all U.S. House members, including 70 from Right to Work states and all seven Democrat politicians in Virginia’s House caucus, have now formally gone on the record in support of the aggressively anti-Right to Work PRO Act,” said Mr. Mix.

“The good news is that, with union bosses wielding operational control over just the House at this time, and with Donald Trump in the Oval Office, the PRO Act is almost certainly not going to become law in the short-term future.

“But Right to Work protections for Virginia employees could unfortunately be eviscerated as soon as early 2020, depending on the outcome of the November elections.”

The Old Dominion is one of a handful of states in which state legislative elections regularly occur in odd-numbered years like 2019.

This year, all 40 seats in the Virginia Senate and all 100 seats in the Virginia House of Delegates are potentially up for grabs.

For months now, the Committee, which is based in northern Virginia, has been contacting legislative candidates, urging them to complete and return a candidate survey.

The survey specifically asks candidates to “oppose all efforts to weaken or repeal Virginia’s Right to Work Law,” as well as other bids to grant new monopoly privileges to Big Labor.

Pressure on Nonresponsive Candidates Will Keep Mounting Until Election Day

“It seems many state politicians in Virginia are now succumbing to Big Labor pressure to help them destroy the Old Dominion’s Right to Work law,” said Mr. Mix. “They are telegraphing their intentions through their ongoing refusal to answer their Committee candidate surveys.  

“Fortunately, thanks primarily to Committee members who have heeded Right to Work requests to contact their politicians again and again, 44 candidates in the 47 key legislative races on which we are focusing this fall have by now gone on the record in 100% opposition to forced unionism.

“The pressure on nonresponsive candidates will keep mounting until Election Day. They can pledge to reverse course and support Right to Work in the future or face the potential political fallout.”