Skip to comments.GOP Senators Introduce National 'Right-to-Work' Bill to Restrict Unions
Posted on 03/12/2011 10:32:19 AM PST by GVnana
A group of conservative U.S. senators has introduced a bill to restrict unions from forcing workers to join and pay dues as a condition of employment.
The move on Capitol Hill comes as several states consider what's known as "right-to-work" legislation -- proposals that have met stiff resistance. Indiana Republicans recently shelved their right-to-work bill after it sparked protests at the capital and after Democrats fled the state to block it, mimicking the tactic used by Wisconsin lawmakers holding up Gov. Scott Walker's anti-union proposal.
But GOP senators in Washington said national legislation is needed to stop the "strong-arm political tactics" they claim labor bosses are using to compel new employees into joining their ranks. They introduced the National Right to Work Act Tuesday.
DeMint was joined by seven other co-sponsors, including Sens. Tom Coburn, R-Okla.; Orrin Hatch, R-Utah; Mike Lee, R-Utah; Rand Paul, R-Ky.; James Risch, R-Idaho; Pat Toomey, R-Pa.; and David Vitter, R-La.
(Excerpt) Read more at foxnews.com ...
There's a petition in support at http://righttoworkcommittee.org/rprtwa_petition.aspx?pid=he2
A neutral question - is this a proper use of federal authority?
Glad to see there is fight in them, but I would rather see it be done at the state level. The states are on a roll and they need to keep it going.
I’d be happy with the repeal of the check-off that allows Unions to deduct money for dues directly out of worker’s paychecks. Right now, workers don’t really have any idea how much the Unions are skimming off their weekly pay.
Make them collect dues by having the workers write a dues check directly to the Union. That way, workers get a real sense of how much they have to shell out to Union Bosses and ‘rat politicians.
Dues would plummet, and ‘rats would find it difficult to get money without this pool of cash.
Make the unions pass their own hat around and the unions will self destruct all by themselves.
Private Are ok. Govenrment ones should be banned.
That is a very good question. I would say no. It sounds like a state right under the 10th Amendment.
Agreed. The same procedure should also be applied to federal state and local taxes with the due date as close to election day as possible.
A valid question. I don’t see a problem. Just because some states are more cowed by the unions than others doesn’t justify depriving people of their basic rights.
I'm open to this beind defended. But we should not succumb to temptation just because we might agree with the outcome. There needs to be a truly Constitutional rational for this.
I think all unions should be a choice. I was a forced AFL-CIO factory worker and hated it but needed the job.
I wanted to get paid on my merits rather than what the union and company negotiated for all.
Im distressed by the fact that the narrative currently in vogue, (even among conservatives, even on this very thread) seems to run like this,
Public sector unions are REALLY bad. There are some bad things in private sector unions, too, but they arent pure evil like public sector unions. Private sector unions, especially at the turn of the century, were actually pretty good.
Heres how the purely evil, anti-American, communistic, welfare-begging private sector unions work ..
I set up a factory, using MY PRIVATE PROPERTY (my capital and/or cash money).
I pay for the space, using MY PRIVATE PROPERTY.
I pay the taxes using MY PRIVATE PROPERTY.
I supply the parts and inventory, using MY PRIVATE PROPERTY.
I pay for the insurance, using MY PRIVATE PROPERTY.
I pay the labor, using MY PRIVATE PROPERTY.
I recruit, hire, and advertise, using MY PRIVATE PROPERTY.
Oftentimes an entire lifes savings (MY PRIVATE PROPERTY) is at stake.
My future, my standing in the community, my credit, and MY PRIVATE PROPERTY are all at stake.
If I fail, I stand a good chance of being economically crippled for life.
One day, on MY PRIVATE PROPERTY that I own and acquired using MY PRIVATE PROPERTY, one of my employers, who is only in my presence because of the risk of MY PRIVATE PROPERTY comes to me and says, Heres the story, Bub. From this moment forward I am going to begin organizing your other employees to work AGAINST YOUR PRIVATE INTERESTS and do everything in our power to TAKE BY FORCE AS MUCH OF YOUR PRIVATE PROPERTY AS WE CAN GET OUR HANDS ON. We are going to spend a great deal of time and effort ORGANIZING AGAINST YOUR INTERESTS TO DO EVERYTHING IN OUR POWER TO GROW STRONGER AT YOUR EXPENSE, IN ORDER TO TAKE YOUR MONEY. You might as well have your business competitors working here on the shop floor. If you do not agree to our demands, we will go on strike, make your life miserable, harass and threaten and/or MURDER IN COLD BLOOD anybody you may want to hire in our place.
Now the one and ONLY way that such a thing could EVER take place is for the government to step in and say, Mr. Employer, if you fire this union man, you are going to jail. Plainly and simply, no union could ever exist in a free society. Yes, in a free society, you should be able to form and join a union of any type at any time for any purpose whatsoever. And your employer should be able to fire your happy ass in a heartbeat for doing so. Freedom is a two way street.
I find this ABSOLUTELY AMAZING. Truly. A man strolls onto the PRIVATE PROPERTY of another man and tells him how he will employ his PRIVATE PROPERTY going forward, OR ELSE!, and hundreds of millions, if not billions, of people the world over think that the first man is not only somehow better than sub-human filth, they actually see him as a hero! To me, this is one of the most perverse and mystifying examples of twisted human thinking the world has ever seen. I cant say it enough, you come onto my PRIVATE PROPERTY, and bargain with me, using the THREAT OF GOVERNMENT SANCTIONED FORCE, about how much of my PRIVATE PROPERTY you will allow me to keep! And this is somehow acceptable?
As I say, even conservatives, (who have escaped the liberal brainwashing that begins when we are still in the womb on guns, race, US history, etc., etc., and do not subscribe to the easy notions that are so readily picked up by the unthinking) seem to fall for this trap. Seem to believe that The work place is filled with mean managers and mean bosses who were/are really mean to kids and women and workers and paid them pennies instead of the legitimate millions that they REALLY earned, making evil white male capitalists even richer and they enslaved them and coerced them and made them work real hard and were really, really mean. THANK GOD!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! for the government stepping in and saving women and children from mean bosses and really mean white capitalist men.
Needless to say, each and every single word of that narrative is as totally false and ridiculous as the liberal narrative on US history, or bad guns, or evil white men. If you know people who believe that stuff, you cannot help them. Do not waste your breath on them, do not do their research for them; have them read Sowell or Williams or von Hayek, or von Mises, or Friedman, or even Stossel when they write of sweatshops either in todays 3rd world or in America at the turn of the century.
In the private sector unions, there is a Last Man Standing rule that applies to the companies that are signatory to specific union locals.
Example: In a given city, there are 6 construction companies that are union contractors, signatory to the Carpenters union that has a total of 150 members and the IBEW electrical workers that have a total of 130 members.
In a bad economy, two of the companies go bankrupt, and two shut down because the owners decide to retire from business.
Under the Last Man Standing rule, the two contractors remaining in business are responsible for the pensions of ALL THE UNION MEMBERS in the Carpenters and IBEW, regardless of whether those workers were ever employed by them!
Most large unions enroll their employees in a multiemployer defined benefit pension system. Operating under the last-man-standing rule, every employer is liable for every retiree in the pool. Initially thought to reduce risk by pooling pensions together, the real result has been to burden employers with bankrupt companies pension payments. The underfunding of multiemployer pension plans is so pervasive that in 2009 Moodys estimated that multiemployer plans were underfunded by $165 billion.
I really dont know, but seems to me that if it isnt we should be able to unload the National Labor Relations Board too.
But if (as a layman), I had to guess, I would say the courts would allow it on grounds that unions affect interstate commerce.
I’m not sure the legislation is a good idea either. This is something that needs to be done within the states.
At this point I also think we need to drive a wedge between public and private sector unions.
Maybe a 1st Amendment approach - freedom of association - forced unionism violates such.
We are getting ready to hit the CPUSA and the American communist movement so hard that they wont have time to crawl back under the rocks they came out from.
Time to kill the WAGNER ACT dead once and for all
No worker in the US should be held hostage to unions period, compulsory union dues are unconstitutional under the first and 14th amendments, and the unions need to be stripped of their ability to steal money from workers paychecks on a national level.
If the workers love unions so much they will be happy to voluntarily send them dues.
Theres nothing patently illegal about a POTUS issuing an executive order immediately ending withholding of union dues nationwide, and ordering the National Labor Relations Board to get a Federal Court Order enforcing the Presidents decision
Lets fight it out in the courts, and lets make it a campaign issue, with the promise to end compulsory withholding of union dues one of the first acts of the new GOP Administration.
Its stupid to allow the left (Communists) to use the same mechanism the IRS uses to fund themselves.
That son of a bitch Warren in US Vs. Brown threw out the provision in Taft Hartley that required union leadership to sign affidavits that they were not communists.
As a result, union leadership is comprised of nothing but.
U.S. Supreme Court
UNITED STATES v. BROWN, 381 U.S. 437 (1965)
381 U.S. 437
UNITED STATES v. BROWN.
CERTIORARI TO THE UNITED STATES COURT OF APPEALS FOR THE NINTH CIRCUIT.
Argued March 29, 1965.
Decided June 7, 1965.
Respondent was convicted under 504 of the Labor-Management Reporting and Disclosure Act of 1959, which makes it a crime for one who belongs to the Communist Party or who has been a member thereof during the preceding five years wilfully to serve as a member of the executive board of a labor organization. The Court of Appeals reversed, holding 504 violative of the First and Fifth Amendments. Held: Section 504 constitutes a bill of attainder and is therefore unconstitutional. Pp. 441-462.
(a) The Bill of Attainder Clause, Art. I, 9, cl. 3, was intended to implement the separation of powers among the three branches of the Government by guarding against the legislative exercise of judicial power. Pp. 441-446.
(b) The Bill of Attainder Clause is to be liberally construed in the light of its purpose to prevent legislative punishment of designated persons or groups. Cummings v. Missouri, 4 Wall. 277; Ex parte Garland, 4 Wall. 333; United States v. Lovett, 328 U.S. 303 . Pp. 447-449.
(c) In designating Communist Party members as those persons who cannot hold union office, Congress has exceeded its Commerce Clause power to enact generally applicable legislation disqualifying from positions affecting interstate commerce persons who may use such positions to cause political strikes. Pp. 449-452.
(d) Section 504 is distinguishable from such conflict-of-interest statutes as 32 of the Banking Act, where Congress was legislating with respect to general characteristics rather than with respect to the members of a specific group. Pp. 453-455.
(e) The designation of Communist Party membership cannot be justified as an alternative, shorthand expression for the characteristics which render men likely to incite political strikes. Pp. 455-456.
(f) A statute which inflicts its deprivation upon named or described persons or groups constitutes a bill of attainder whether its aim is retributive, punishing past acts, or preventive, discouraging future conduct. In American Communications Assn. v. Douds, 339 U.S. 382 , where the Court upheld 9 (h) of the National [381 U.S. 437, 438] Labor Relations Act, the predecessor of 504, the Court erroneously assumed that only a law visiting retribution for past acts could constitute a bill of attainder, and misread the statute involved in United States v. Lovett, 328 U.S. 303 , which it sought to distinguish from 9 (h), as being in that category. Pp. 456-460.
(g) The legislative specification of those to whom the enacted sanction is to apply invalidates a provision as a bill of attainder whether the individuals are designated by name as in Lovett or by description as here. Pp. 461-462.
334 F.2d 488, affirmed.
Solicitor General Cox argued the cause for the United States. With him on the brief were Assistant Attorney General Yeagley, Nathan Lewin, Kevin T. Maroney and George B. Searls.
Richard Gladstein argued the cause for respondent. With him on the brief was Norman Leonard.
Briefs of amici curiae, urging affirmance, were filed by Melvin L. Wulf for the American Civil Liberties Union of Northern California et al., and by Victor Rabinowitz and Leonard B. Boudin for the Emergency Civil Liberties Committee.
MR. CHIEF JUSTICE WARREN delivered the opinion of the Court.
In this case we review for the first time a conviction under 504 of the Labor-Management Reporting and Disclosure Act of 1959, which makes it a crime for a member of the Communist Party to serve as an officer or (except in clerical or custodial positions) as an employee of a labor union. 1 Section 504, the purpose of which is to protect [381 U.S. 437, 439] the national economy by minimizing the danger of political strikes, 2 was enacted to replace 9 (h) of the National Labor Relations Act, as amended by the Taft-Hartley Act, which conditioned a unions access to the National Labor Relations Board upon the filing of affidavits by all of the unions officers attesting that they were not members of or affiliated with the Communist Party. 3 [381 U.S. 437, 440]
Respondent has been a working longshoreman on the San Francisco docks, and an open and avowed Communist, for more than a quarter of a century. He was elected to the Executive Board of Local 10 of the International Longshoremens and Warehousemens Union for consecutive one-year terms in 1959, 1960, and 1961. On May 24, 1961, respondent was charged in a one-count indictment returned in the Northern District of California with knowingly and wilfully serv[ing] as a member of an executive board of a labor organization . . . while a member of the Communist Party, in wilful violation of Title 29, United States Code, Section 504. It was neither charged nor proven that respondent at any time advocated or suggested illegal activity by the union, or proposed a political strike. 4 The jury found respondent guilty, and he was sentenced to six months imprisonment. The Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit, sitting en banc, reversed and remanded with instructions to set aside the conviction and dismiss the indictment, holding that 504 violates the First and Fifth Amendments to the Constitution. 334 F.2d 488. We granted certiorari, 379 U.S. 899 .
Respondent urges - in addition to the grounds relied on by the court below - that the statute under which he was convicted is a bill of attainder, and therefore violates Art. I, 9, of the Constitution. 5 We agree that 504 is void as a bill of attainder and affirm the decision of the Court of Appeals on that basis. We therefore find it unnecessary to consider the First and Fifth Amendment arguments. [381 U.S. 437, 441]
Private Are ok.
Agree, but no payroll deduction of dues should ever be legal. Otherwise, the employer is participating in coercion.
It would be one thing if the deduction only covered negotiation expenses, but as it stands now, the worker’s money is being taken to pay for activities and causes he doesn’t know about and wouldn’t otherwise support.
In a sane society, that is called theft.
Of course. EL DUCHE showed us the way.
It's a great question to which I don't have an answer. It made me think, however: why would restrictions be improper if the original granting of special rights to the union was constitutional?
I think the ending of forced unionization home child care workers in Michigan provides an interesting precedent.
A neutral question is how in the blazes under the U.S. Constitution can a person be compelled to join a private organization he doesn’t want to join and contribute to a political organization and causes he doesn’t support.
Compulsory unionism is a usurpation of quasi-governmental power by the unions. It is intrinsically wrong and always has been. Just because a corrupt arrangement has been institutionalized doesn’t mean it’s ok.
100% Doc.... You just described me to a “T”
No, this is a war for our country. We are losing. We can’t continue to lose because of tactics we refuse to employ. The enemy has no such problem. Win at any cost? Just about, yes.
“Yes Johnny, we live in a socialist totalitarian country now, but we fought fair.
Make the dims defend NATIONALLY the concept that someone must join a union to take a job.
Less then 1/2 the dim caucus can do this, splitting them on the issue...or forcing them to defend the unions against the will of the American people.
Perfect wedge issue.
This is number one needed in my book also.
It is VERY VERY VERY VERY scary when, even here on FR for Pete’s sake, people do not recognize unions as gov’t sanctioned theft of private property for the purpose of buying votes. I EXPECT that kind of ignorance elsewhere, BUT HERE ON FR??????????????????????
Not so neutral. Why wouldn’t it be?
A neutral question - is this a proper use of federal authority?
That was my first thought. Isn’t this just strengthening the power on centralized government? This should be left to the states, it would seem to me.
Uh, maybe the 10th Amendment?
Private unions are just as bad. They keep excellent employees from being promoted because of the seniority of horrible, lazy *ss employees.. Companies (like electrical) aren’t allowed to select the employees they want, they have to take the next employee by seniority in the union or both the company and employee will suffer the wrath of hell.
I know of one company right now that has more work than they can do and because of the union practices of the above can’t get qualified employees to do the extra work they would like to do. so, the work is backed up and the union thugs just sit and wait for the NEXT IN LINE sorry excuse for an electrician. No company with an ounce of integrity is going to hire an employee who doesn’t care if they do a good job (which is what is left of the UNION THUGS available).
And this is a right to work state.
It is a precedent at the state level, NOT the federal level.
I am all for states doing what happened in Wisconsin. That follows the Constitution.
I suspect what is being proposed at the federal level is unconstitutional.
To start out with, union violence and sabotage in furtherance of their goals should be treated exactly the same as would a business which engaged in violence against competitors.
Don’t worry, Boehner will tie it up, as he has for years....Demwits need do nothing.
What is alarming is that we laymen refer to the constitution, while those “heroes” on “our side” seem to be either ignorant of it, or don’t even care about it.
We live in dangerous times.
You, sir, are far too kind.
“You might as well have your business competitors working here on the shop floor. If you do not agree to our demands, we will go on strike, make your life miserable, harass and threaten and/or MURDER IN COLD BLOOD anybody you may want to hire in our place.”
“Thank you for that narrative mr union man. You see, I am wealthy, I do not have much debt since I made this company a success with MY PRIVATE PROPERTY. I have 75 people working here, who have earned a living for their family, have good benefits and who maybe someday will have their children work here.
“So tomorrow morning I am going to have my coffee, eat my bacon and egg sandwich, read about the Rangers losing again and then I will go on the shop floor and announce to every employee that I am retiring Friday afternoon and closing the factory.”
“And when they ask why, I will tell them exactly what you told me.”
“No, this is a war for our country. We are losing. We cant continue to lose because of tactics we refuse to employ. The enemy has no such problem. Win at any cost? Just about, yes.
Yes Johnny, we live in a socialist totalitarian country now, but we fought fair.”
So, defend the Constitution by destroying the constitution.
BTW, I had the “pleasure” of one of these crappy UNION THUG jerks working on a project for us. He drilled FIVE freaking holes in the wall where he was supposed to be installing an outlet! He covered those holes with DUCT TAPE, left a bill on the table and left.
The company that did the work was required to hire him because he was “next in line” according to his union. He will never set foot in our business again!
Bravo, sir, bravo.
True but I do not have to pay them with my tax.
I kinda like the idea of membership in The Steam Pipe-Fitters Union being mandatory for the type and quality of work they are expected to perform. The rest of the trade unions aren't as dedicated to perfection, and their work isn't as life critical.