Worker Freedom at Stake in Virginia Elections

Terry McAuliffe claims pro-Right to Work Virginians shouldn’t pay attention to his pledge to sign a law forcing workers to bankroll unwanted unions. But his enthusiastic union-boss bankrollers clearly expect him to fulfill it. (Credit: A.F. Branco for NRTWC)

Dem Gubernatorial Nominee:  ‘Sure, I’d Sign’ Right to Work Repeal

In April, gubernatorial candidate Terry McAuliffe joined the growing number of Democrat politicians who endorse destruction of Virginia’s 74-year-old Right to Work law.

Mr. McAuliffe’s willingness to kowtow to union bosses by agreeing to help do away with a law that simply protects the individual employee’s freedom to join or financially support a union, or refuse to do either, is now a major issue in Virginia’s 2021 gubernatorial election.

But Mr. McAuliffe has not yet even tried to explain why he thinks it is okay to force employees to bankroll a union if they choose not to belong to it.

Workers ‘Often Actually Made Worse Off’ by Unionization

As even pro-Big Labor coercion law professor Sheldon Leader has admitted, under so-called “exclusive” union bargaining, workers who don’t want a union are “often actually made worse off” than they were before.

The eminent late Pennsylvania law professor Clyde Summers strongly concurred, rejecting union-boss attempts to use monopoly bargaining as an excuse for forced union dues. Under union “exclusivity,” noted Dr. Summers, “full-timers may bargain to limit the jobs of part-timers, seniority provisions may disadvantage younger workers, and wage increases of the low skilled may be at the expense of the highly skilled.”

No Backer of Big Labor Special Privileges Is Fit to Lead Virginia

“Terry McAuliffe wants to make it permissible for union bosses to pour salt in the wounds of Virginia workers who fare worse under Big Labor domination by extracting forced fees from them as well,” said National Right to Work Committee Vice President John Kalb.

“That’s a morally bankrupt stance. It’s also a highly unpopular stance.” 

Elimination of Right to Work protections for unionized employees is obviously no way to improve Virginians’ living standards.

As a 2020 analysis by the National Institute for Labor Relations Research showed, the average cost of living-adjusted, after-tax income per household in the 27 Right to Work states in 2019 was $64,572. That’s roughly $4,300 higher than the average in the 23 states where workers can be forced to pay union fees for the privilege of keeping their jobs.

Virginia’s cost of living-adjusted, after-tax household income of $73,543 is the highest in the country, and roughly $13,300 higher than the combined average for all 23 forced-unionism states.

“The principal beneficiaries of Right to Work destruction in Virginia would be greedy and power-crazed union bosses,” said Mr. Kalb.

“No backer of forced-dues privileges for Big Labor is fit to lead Virginia.”

Committee Survey Program Turns up Heat on Big Labor State Politicians

On Election Day this fall in Virginia, voters will decide which politicians control the state House of Delegates as well as the governorship and other statewide offices.

In recent years, Virginia Democrat elected officials, who now control both chambers of the state’s General Assembly as well as the governorship, have come under more and more pressure from militant activists and campaign strategists in their party to back destruction of Right to Work protections for employees.

And this year the Big Labor machine is undoubtedly making tens of millions of dollars in reported and unreported political contributions in Virginia, including $4.1 million in reported cash to Mr. McAuliffe alone, with the aim of being in a position to do away with the state’s Right to Work law in 2022.

“Terry McAuliffe is well aware that  Virginians, like roughly eight out of 10 of all Americans, support the Right to Work,” said Mr. Kalb.  “That’s why he keeps trying to downplay the issue. But union bosses are dead serious about wanting to kill Right to Work.

“In response, the Committee is making a major investment this fall in our effort to inform hundreds of thousands of citizens about where both statewide and legislative candidates stand on the Right to Work issue, and mobilize them to contact their candidates through our Virginia Survey 2021 program.

“Thanks to the survey program, pro-forced-unionism candidates across the Old Dominion are confronted with a choice:  They can change course now and start supporting Right to Work, or face the possible political consequences on November 2.”

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