Today, U.S. Senator Jim DeMint (R-South Carolina), introduced the National Right to Work Act to reduce workplace discrimination by protecting the free choice of individuals to form, join, or assist labor organizations, or to refrain from such activities. Seven Republicans joined Senator DeMint as original cosponsors to the Right to Work Act including Senators Tom Coburn (R-Oklahoma), Orrin Hatch (R-Utah), Mike Lee (R-Utah), Rand Paul (R-Kentucky), James Risch (R-Idaho), Pat Toomey (R-Pennsylvania) and David Vitter (R-Louisiana).
During the 111th Congress, all Senate Democrats united to vote against workers’ rights but now they have a chance to protect American workers’ freedom to choose.
“No American should be forced to join a union and pay dues to get a job in this country,” said Senator DeMint. “Many Americans are already struggling just to put food on the table, and they shouldn’t have to fear losing their jobs or face discrimination if they don’t want to join a union. Forced-unionism shields unions from member accountability and has a detrimental effect on the economy. In states where companies are forced to hire only union workers, businesses have struggled to compete while they deal with counterproductive work rules.”
“Facing a steady decline in membership, unions have turned to strong-arm political tactics to make forced unionization the default position of every American worker – even if they don’t want it,” said Senator Hatch. “This is simply unacceptable. At the very least, it should be the policy of the U.S. government to ensure that no employee will be forced to join a union in order to get or keep their job. The National Right to Work Act would do just that.”
“Traditionally, the American economy has been so exceptional because it had an innovative, flexible workforce,” said Senator Vitter. “But now, big labor bosses are trying to force employees into joining unions and paying dues – which comes directly out of your hard-earned paycheck and often directed to political activities that you may not support. To see the negative impacts of forced unionization, look no further than the struggling businesses in states whose laws allow it. It can’t be a coincidence that right to work states have on balance grown in population over the last 10 years, arguably at the expense of heavy union-favoring states.”
“Any hindrance to hard-working Americans seeking jobs is in opposition to the American spirit,” said Senator Paul. “For too long, unions have played politics and discriminated against workers and businesses. Eliminating forced unionism is a victory for the American workforce and sends union bosses a strong message that their back-room dealing and bullying will no longer be tolerated.”
A recent poll shows 80 percent of union members support having a Right to Work policy. A map of the Forced-Unionism and Right to Work states can be found here: http://www.nrtw.org/rtws.htm.
Right to Work states have consistently outperform forced-union states in factors that affect worker well being. From 2000 to 2008 roughly 4.7 million Americans moved from forced-union to right to work states. A recent study found that there is “a very strong and highly statistically significant relationship between right to work laws and economic growth,” and that from 1977 to 2007 right to work states experienced a 23 percent faster rise in per capita income than states with forced unionization.
Senator DeMint highlighted forced unionism’s effect on the economy, saying, “For America to truly win the future, we must stop operating on politics of the past like these forced-unionism laws that have crippled American industries. Forced-unionism helped lead to GM and Chrysler’s near bankruptcy and their requests for government bailouts as they struggled to compete in a global marketplace. When American businesses suffer because of these anti-worker laws, jobs and investment are driven overseas.”
“Forced-unionism allows union bosses to forcibly take dues from a politically diverse group of workers and then give hundreds of millions every year almost exclusively to one political party. Workers should have the right to provide for their families without having to pay for political activity they strongly disagree with,” said Senator DeMint.