Salt Lake City, Utah (December 10, 2002) – The following is a statement of Stefan Gleason, Vice President of the National Right to Work Legal Defense Foundation, the organization that provided free legal aid to Utah public employees attempting to limit the infringement of their rights under government-imposed compulsory unionism.
“This week’s ruling by the Third District Court to uphold the core of Utah’s recently enacted “Voluntary Contributions Act” (VCA) gives union members a measure of comfort that they have a right to object to the portion of their union dues spent for politics and other non-collective bargaining activity. The court relied on a long line of Foundation-won Supreme Court cases that limit the use of union dues spent on unwanted union politics.
“However, the court missed a major opportunity to solve the fundamental cause of abuse by Utah’s government union officials – monopoly bargaining power.
“Monopoly bargaining is the premier union special privilege, granted or allowed by federal law and the laws of many states. It forces individual employees at unionized workplaces to accept union “representation” – even if they don’t want it.
“National Right to Work Legal Defense Foundation attorneys intervened in the case on behalf of state employees to defend the statute and to argue that monopoly bargaining is unconstitutional for all Utah’s government employees because of its inherent infringements on their rights to free speech and association.
“Even though Utah has a highly popular and effective Right to Work law that enables nonunion employees to pay no dues whatsoever to an unwanted union, the still-intact monopoly bargaining privilege forces employees to accept the rigid terms of “one size fits all” union-brokered contracts – contracts that tend to punish the best and most productive employees.
“This bars all employees – even union objectors – from individually negotiating over the terms of their own employment. And using their monopoly bargaining privilege, union officials refuse to allow non-union members any input into workplace issues that directly affect them. Monopoly bargaining often leaves employees who don’t support the union’s ideological agenda with an intolerable choice: Join the unwanted union and pay dues or give up their workplace voice.
“Unfortunately, Utah’s VCA law leaves monopoly bargaining – the very root of forced unionism – intact. Meanwhile, as recent history has shown, attempts to merely regulate the misuse of employees’ dues for political activities have utterly failed in other states.
“Ending the ability of union officials to impose their “representation” on non-consenting employees would – unlike Utah’s Voluntary Contributions Act – tear out compulsory unionism from the root and fully restore employees’ individual rights.”
The National Right to Work Legal Defense Foundation is a nonprofit, charitable organization providing free legal aid to employees whose human or civil rights have been violated by compulsory unionism abuses. The Foundation, which can be contacted toll-free at 1-800-336-3600, assists thousands of employees in more than 250 cases nationwide per year.