On and around Labor Day, National Right to Work Legal Defense Foundation President Mark Mix was featured in news outlets nationwide, discussing worker freedom, the Janus case, and the Foundation’s work to defend employees’ legal rights and end the continuing injustice of compulsory unionism. Here is a selection of his op-eds which were published in dozens of news outlets coast-to-coast.
“On Labor Day, celebrate workers’ First Amendment rights under Janus” was published in the Washington Examiner:
This Labor Day, at least five million public sector workers across the country can celebrate having the freedom to choose whether or not a part of their paycheck goes toward supporting a labor union as a condition of their employment.
In the Janus v. AFSCME decision, the U.S. Supreme Court declared it unconstitutional to force government employees to pay union dues or fees to get or keep a job. Agreeing with the National Right to Work Foundation staff attorney who argued on behalf of Illinois state employee Mark Janus, the high court finally recognized that forcing workers to subsidize any union speech directed at the government violates the First Amendment.
Every public school teacher, police officer, firefighter, and civil servant in the nation now has the freedom to decide as an individual whether or not union officials deserve their financial support. This means government employees can withhold financial support from union officials that are corrupt or hold institutional interests that conflict with the individual’s personal views.
“It’s Labor Day, not Union Day,” which appeared in The Daily Caller and nearly 20 other outlets, reminded readers that Labor Day should not be hijacked by union officials seeking to expand their coercive power over workers:
This Labor Day, when most Americans pause to celebrate workers and their contributions to our nation, union bosses will again attempt to hijack the holiday to promote their agenda of coercive power over America’s workers.
Despite the union boss talking points, there is still much to celebrate this Labor Day. Workers coast to coast have made substantial gains for workplace freedom in recent months.
If union membership, representation, and dues payment were strictly voluntary, union officials would have to earn workers’ support, and officials would need to be accountable and responsive to the rank-and-file or else face a loss of revenue. Instead, workers pay billions each year to union bosses simply because they would lose their jobs if they did not.
Perhaps this Labor Day, union officials should take a step back and reexamine how reliant they are on government-granted compulsory powers…and how this causes millions of American workers to view them as out of touch with those they seek to “represent.”
Meanwhile a commentary in The Hill makes the point that voluntary, not coercive, unionism respects American values:
Americans regularly join and form clubs, civic associations, church groups, and countless other organizations that rely on little more than the enthusiasm and support of their members.
But one type of private organization doesn’t play by the same rules. Union officials can force private sector employees across the country to pay union dues and accept union officials’ monopoly bargaining privileges over wages and working conditions. This coercive power over employees, many of whom want nothing to do with a union, flies in the face of America’s traditions of voluntarism and free association.
Right to Work protections bring the spirit of voluntarism back to the American workplace. In Right to Work states, employees are still free to form, join, and pay dues to a union. However, no worker can be forced to join or pay dues against his or her will. Right to Work simply requires that unions start playing by the same rules as every other private organization.
“On Labor Day, consider injustice of forced union dues” was published by the Duluth News Tribune and by other outlets in states without Right to Work protections for workers:
As you shop for back-to-school supplies or food for a Labor Day cookout, consider this: The clerks, shelf stockers, truck drivers, and factory workers who make that possible all can be legally forced to pay money to a union or be fired.
Why? Because Minnesota is one of 23 forced-unionism states in America. In Minnesota, a union official can legally have a worker fired for not paying union dues or fees.
It is no surprise that a growing number of states are eager to cast off Big Labor’s chokehold, free their workforces, and realize the economic opportunity of right-to-work legislation. In recent years, five states, including Michigan and Wisconsin, joined the right-to-work ranks.
As you celebrate Labor Day, consider the benefits of right-to-work. Consider your neighbor that might land a newly created job. Consider the new manufacturing plant that might open its doors. Consider what you might do with an extra $2,200 of spending power in your pocket.
Newsmax published “Despite Janus Ruling, Public Sector Bargaining Still Erodes Democracy,” on another harmful facet of forced unionism– union monopoly bargaining powers that violate workers freedom of association:
In June, the National Right to Work Foundation-won Janus v. AFSCME U.S. Supreme Court decision ended the racket of public employees being forced to pay money to a union as a condition of working for their own government. Finally, every government worker will have the freedom to decide whether or not they want to financially support a union with a part of their paycheck.
Despite the end of mandatory union payments, public sector union officials continue to wield special government-granted monopoly bargaining powers that subvert representative government. Under laws enacted by the federal government and most states, union officials are given a special seat to determine policy despite being totally unaccountable to the citizenry.
Ending monopoly-bargaining powers for government workers protects the freedom of association of independent-minded public employees and ends the anti-democratic process whereby the voters’ elected representatives are required to cede power to special interest groups over the very issues we elect legislative bodies to decide.
Finally, outlets in Right to Work states, including the Detroit News, published a piece examining the benefits of Right to Work, which should be celebrated each Labor Day:
If you are reading this, chances are you are one of the millions of Americans living in one of 27 Right to Work states. You might not know it from Right to Work opponents’ rhetorical posturing, but Right to Work laws are simple and straightforward, not to mention popular.
A Right to Work law ensures that no employee can be forced to join or pay dues or fees to a union as a condition of employment. This leaves the decision of union membership and financial support where it belongs: with each individual worker.
The connection between Right to Work laws and better economic performance is not a surprise. Business experts consistently rank the presence of Right to Work laws as one of the most important factors companies consider when deciding where to expand or relocate their facilities, where they will create new jobs.
If you are still unsure where you stand on the Right to Work issue, ask yourself a simple question: Why should union officials not play by the same rules as every other private organization? A labor union that genuinely enjoys employee endorsement will continue to thrive with members’ voluntary support. A union that has alienated the rank-and-file or outlived its usefulness will need to adapt in order to survive.
Workplace choice, employee freedom, and better economic performance are part and parcel of the Right to Work package. What is not to like? This Labor Day, citizens of Right to Work states have much more to celebrate than a three-day weekend.