For Unions, Labor Day Is About Grabbing More Power

Mark Mix president of the National Right to Work Legal Defense Foundation, writes in Labor Day editorial:   

Most Americans realize that Labor Day is about celebrating workers, not union bosses. But that won’t stop Big Labor’s apologists from seizing the spotlight to demand more power.

Fact is, modern unions are built on the legal privileges of compulsion and extortion. In 27 states without Right to Work laws, nonunion employees can be fired for refusing to pay union dues.

Millions more nonunion workers have no choice but to accept union bargaining over their wages and working conditions, even if they want nothing to do with the union.

This despite the fact that poll after poll shows the American people overwhelmingly oppose forced union dues and affiliation.

What’s more, union officials routinely funnel nonunion workers’ forced dues into political campaigns aimed at defending or expanding their already extensive special privileges.

Big Labor Goes To Court

Seven years ago Service Employees International Union officials imposed on all 36,000 California state employees forced to accept SEIU representation a “special assessment” for a self-described “political fight-back fund” to pay for a campaign to defeat several California ballot initiatives. Union officials even imposed the fee on nonmembers without notice or opportunity to opt out.

After years of legal wrangling, long after SEIU officials defeated the 2005 proposals, the U.S. Supreme Court held 7-2 that SEIU bosses had violated the workers’ First Amendment rights.

The Court’s majority ruled for the first time that union officials must obtain affirmative consent from workers before using workers’ forced union fees for union politicking.

While this National Right to Work Foundation-won victory is a step in the right direction, there is still a long way to go.

In litigating nearly 200 cases nationwide today, National Right to Work Foundation staff attorneys are helping employees stand up for their rights against union bosses’ intimidation, coercion, and even violence. These cases underscore the extreme lengths to which union bosses will go to retaliate against anyone who refuses to toe Big Labor’s line.

If union officials really wanted to celebrate Labor Day, they’d renounce their special privileges and free hard-working Americans from being forced to pay tribute to unions as a condition of employment. Otherwise, their talk of “workers’ rights” rings awfully hollow.