Big Labor-Backed Candidates Are Trying to Hide Where
For more than 70 years, Virginia’s Right to Work law has
prohibited union bosses from wielding their federal government-granted monopoly
privileges to get employees fired for refusal to pay union dues or fees.
Big Labor allies in Richmond have periodically tried over
the years to ram through schemes gutting Right to Work protections for
In 1991, for example, 10 Virginia state senators sponsored a
bill that would have forced union nonmembers to pay so-called “agency” fees to
Big Labor as a condition of employment.
But over the course of the quarter century that followed,
the Old Dominion Right to Work statute appeared increasingly to be safe.
‘Employees Who Refuse to Hand Over Their Hard-Earned
Money Will Be Fired’
Not anymore. On December 28, 2018, radical socialist
freshman Del. Lee Carter (D-Manassas) introduced H.B.1806, legislation that
would repeal the Right to Work provision that has been in the Code of Virginia
since 1947 and add a provision that explicitly authorizes compulsory union
While H.B.1806 did not come up for a vote this year, Mr.
Carter is sure to sponsor a Right to Work destruction measure again if he is
And an alarmingly high number of union-label lawmakers are
so far refusing to let constituents know how they will vote on the forced-fee
scheme when it comes to the floor.
National Right to Work Committee President Mark Mix
“No one should be fooled. If legislation like H.B.1806 is
adopted by the Virginia General Assembly, employees across the Old Dominion
will be compelled to pay Big Labor bosses just to get or keep a job.
“Employees who refuse to hand over their hard-earned money
will be fired — plain and simple.”
Mr. Mix added that the injustice of the forced union
financial support that is authorized and promoted by federal labor policy is
magnified when the victimized workers are actually getting paid less as a
consequence of being under union monopoly control.
Monopolistic Unionism ‘Reduc[es] Pay of the Most
Among the types of workers whose paychecks are often smaller
because they are subject to union “exclusivity” are those who are especially
talented and/or hardworking. In fact, over the years, a number of academic
apologists for Organized Labor have made no bones about the fact that workers
whose productivity is above average typically get paid less when they are
Take, for example, Richard Rothstein, now a distinguished
fellow with the relentlessly pro-Big Labor Economic Policy Institute.
In a brief survey of union-friendly academic literature on
the impact of “exclusive” union bargaining on the pay of employees with diverse
levels of skill and industriousness, Mr. Rothstein has written:
“In [unionized] firms, wages of lower paid workers are
raised above the market rate, with the increase offset . . . [in part] by
reducing pay of the most productive workers. If firms with this practice are
rare, competitors will be able to bid away their best workers.”
Many Candidates Apparently Hope Pro-Right to Work Citizens
Aren’t Paying Attention
Recognizing that Virginians’ Right to Work could be in grave
peril in 2020, depending on the outcome of this fall’s elections, the National
Right to Work Committee has launched a grassroots campaign to convince
legislative candidates in key districts to pledge to oppose forced unionism
before Election Day.
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.
In the summer, the Committee, which is based in northern
Virginia, began contacting major-party legislative candidates as their names
and addresses became publicly available, urging them to complete and return a
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.
“Unfortunately,” said Mr. Mix, “a large share of the
candidates the Committee was able to survey before this Newsletter edition went
to press in early August did not respond at the time.
“Committee officers suspect that most of the candidates who
are concealing their stance on Right to Work actually support forced unionism
but hope freedom-loving citizens won’t hold them accountable now for siding
with Big Labor bosses as long as they don’t trumpet their opposition to
Pressure on Nonresponsive Candidates Will Keep Mounting Until
The Committee is determined to prevent Virginia candidates
from getting away this year with concealing their positions on Right to Work
and forced unionism, Mr. Mix emphasized.
This month, the Committee will repeatedly mail identified
Right to Work supporters in roughly 30 Virginia House districts and roughly 10
Senate districts, mobilizing them to contact their candidates regarding their
refusal to answer their surveys and/or their open advocacy of compulsory
The Committee will continue mailing tens of thousands of its
members and supporters in targeted legislative districts throughout October,
urging them again and again to contact fence-sitting and unabashedly hostile
candidates, in a persistent effort to turn them around.
“Thanks to the Committee’s state survey program,” said Mr.
Mix, “candidates who are either covertly or overtly backing the union
hierarchy’s scheme to destroy Virginia’s Right to Work law will have a clear
choice as Election Day approaches.
“They can pledge to reverse course and support Right to Work
in the future or face the potential political fallout.”
While protecting employees’ personal freedom is the direct
and primary purpose of Virginia’s Right to Work law and the 26 other such state
laws currently on the books, they also have an evident economic impact.
As an example, Mr. Mix pointed to the U.S. Commerce
Department’s statistics regarding annual output in automotive manufacturing, as
measured in constant, chained 2012 dollars.
Workers Would Miss Out On Good Job Opportunities
“Real automotive manufacturing output in the 22 states that
already had Right to Work laws in 2007 grew by 38% over the next decade,” said
“But it fell by 22% in the 23 states that were still
forced-unionism as of the end of 2017.
“Once you’ve looked at these data, it’s hard to believe
Volvo’s largest truck manufacturing facility in the world would be located in
western Virginia’s Pulaski County were it not for the state’s Right to Work
“This facility already supports more than 3,200 jobs, and
this summer the Volvo Group announced it would invest nearly $400 million to
expand its operation in Pulaski County.
“Thanks to the expansion, the plant is expected to create an
additional 777 jobs by 2025.
“Volvo decided to expand in Virginia rather than in several
other states it was reportedly considering despite the fact that the financial
incentives offered by the state were quite modest by comparison with what state
politicians are often willing, nowadays, to put on the table to lure a major
Why Attack the Right to Work in the Old Dominion?
Since the Right to Work law clearly benefits Virginia’s
economy and ordinary citizens continue overwhelmingly to support it, one may
wonder why the former bipartisan consensus in favor of retaining it has
evaporated over the past few years.
The dismaying answer, suggested Mr. Mix, is political
“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,” he said.
“This includes federal politicians such as freshman U.S.
Rep. Abigail Spanberger [D]. She represents a staunchly pro-Right to Work
district, but is currently cosponsoring H.R.2474, radical legislation that
would gut all state Right to Work laws and authorize forced union fees
“Ms. Spanberger and many of her counterparts in Richmond
seem to think opposing Virginia’s cherished Right to Work law is a smart
political strategy. On Election Day 2019, we’ll begin to find out how that
works out for them.”