Washington, D.C. (October 8, 2002) – The following is a statement from Stefan Gleason, Vice President of the National Right to Work Legal Defense Foundation on President Bush’s decision to intervene and invoke the Taft-Hartley Act provisions to halt the West Coast ports shutdown involving the International Longshore and Warehouse Union (ILWU):
“Using the union special privileges granted by federal labor law, a small group of union officials have been empowered to hold America’s economy hostage. President Bush’s decision to seek a temporary injunction to open the West Coast ports for shipping is only a temporary solution to a much larger problem.
“If the president is serious about protecting America’s economy and security, he must work to end compulsory unionism in the form of monopoly bargaining and forced union dues. This power gives union officials control over union treasuries, union offices, strike votes, and contract negotiations without fear of workers exercising any practical restraint.
“Union officials have a long history of exploiting national security and economic crises to seek more power. During the Second World War, Big Labor waged 13,000 strikes and work stoppages to impose forced unionism on hundreds of thousands of workers. By the end of World War II, more than 78 percent of unionized employees were governed by contracts that required them to pay union dues as a condition of employment, a fourfold increase. ”
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.