Senate GOP introduces national open-shop bill

posted at 2:15 pm on March 9, 2011 by Ed Morrissey

In the last session of Congress, Democrats eventually retreated from Card Check despite holding large majorities in both chambers, with a President in the White House willing to sign it.  Senate Republicans in this session of Congress appear less tentative in pursuing their own version of labor reform.  Piggybacking off of Scott Walker’s efforts in Wisconsin, eight Republicans introduced the National Right to Work Act which would end closed shops throughout the nation:

Sen. Jim DeMint (R-S.C.), 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,” according to a statement.

Seven other Republicans signed onto the effort: Sens. Tom Coburn (Okla.), Orrin Hatch (Utah), Mike Lee (Utah), Rand Paul (Ky.), James Risch (Idaho), Pat Toomey (Pa.) and David Vitter (La.).

“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,” Hatch said. “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.”

Republicans cited a recent poll they said shows that 80 percent of union members support having their policy and that “Right to Work” states outperform “forced-union” states in factors that affect worker well being.

Of course, this doesn’t have a prayer of passing, at least not as a standalone bill.  The House could pass a similar bill with no problem, but even the most moderate of red-state Democrats won’t vote to kneecap union dues collection, not when those dues go towards keeping Democrats in office.  That is the main reason that Wisconsin’s fleebaggers won’t return and allow the state to have a functioning legislature — because they’ll be signing their political death warrants if they do.  Even if the bill managed to escape Congress by getting at least 13 Democratic votes in the Senate, Barack Obama would waste no time in vetoing the bill.

That might prove to be a useful exercise, though.  If Republicans can force a floor vote on the bill — and they could use a discharge petition to do so, under certain conditions — it would force Democrats to either vote against it and endorse forced union membership and dues collections, or to filibuster it on the record to the same effect.  Democrats will paint this effort as “union-busting,” but unlike the necessarily more targeted focus in Wisconsin, this bill instead offers a broad defense of individual rights in the country as a whole.

If nothing else, the introduction of this bill forces Democrats to play defense rather than push again for Card Check for their own symbolic purposes.  As long as workers are forced to join unions as a condition of working in certain jobs, there is no justification whatsoever for stripping them of the secret ballot to determine whether those unions can take their money in the first place.  It’s a Card Check checkmate.


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You tried to dance around the issue, claiming that although people do not have choice in these matters, they somehow still do.

Either you have choice in joining or you don’t

Either you have choice in contributing to political parties you do not support or you don’t.

Either you have choice in buying into Unconstitutional Obamacare or you don’t.

Either you have choice or you don’t, how much simpler do I have to make that?

Chip on March 9, 2011 at 5:17 PM

Who’s dancing around? I never said you don’t have a choice. I think you have a choice whether or not to do all of those things.

Look Chip, I think it’d be the classy thing to do if you just gave it up and admitted you’ve been wrong. Thrashing around and resisting the obvious is just kind of sad at this point.

crr6 on March 9, 2011 at 5:21 PM

Hmmm my post was eaten up using greater than and smaller than signs..

Brazil Union rate is smaller than Greece, Ireland, Spain

Brazil economic growth is greater than Greece, Ireland, Spain

angryed on March 9, 2011 at 5:22 PM

angryed on March 9, 2011 at 5:21 PM

Did you miss this?

I did, and I couldn’t find it. Post your link, if you have one.

crr6 on March 9, 2011 at 5:22 PM

Also crr6, what else Brazil has that we don’t is access to their vast natural resources. They have lots of oil and they are allowed to get it.

angryed on March 9, 2011 at 5:19 PM

This is big. Brazil is self-sufficient in oil. We are too … except the federal government, or more accurately democrats, are preventing us from accessing the massives reserves we have.

darwin on March 9, 2011 at 5:23 PM

DeMint gives me hope that there are still some intelligent life forms in D.C.

Done That on March 9, 2011 at 5:23 PM

Look Chip, I think it’d be the classy thing to do if you just gave it up and admitted you’ve been wrong. Thrashing around and resisting the obvious is just kind of sad at this point.

crr6 on March 9, 2011 at 5:21 PM

LOL. Typical of crr6. She loses the argument and ends it by saying “you’re wrong admit it”. Note to self: never hire you as a lawyer. If things don’t go just right at trial, I’ll be in trouble.

angryed on March 9, 2011 at 5:24 PM

darwin on March 9, 2011 at 5:23 PM

In fact, Obama gave Brazil 2 billion taxpayer dollars to help them deep water drill.

darwin on March 9, 2011 at 5:25 PM

I think a better question is, why do you support free-riding leeches so much? That is, why do you support people not purchasing insurance and dumping the costs of their emergency care on the rest of society? [...]

crr6 on March 9, 2011 at 3:33 PM

The uninsured aren’t the only ones “dumping costs of their care on the rest of society:

AHA issues data on uncompensated care, Medicare/Medicaid shortfalls
November 30, 2009

U.S. hospitals provided $36.4 billion in uncompensated care in 2008, according to the latest data from the AHA’s Annual Survey of Hospitals. That’s $2.4 billion more than in 2007. Underpayment by Medicare and Medicaid to U.S. hospitals reached $32.4 billion in 2008, up from $31.9 billion in 2007 and $3.8 billion in 2000. Medicare reimbursed 91 cents and Medicaid reimbursed 89 cents for every dollar hospitals spent caring for these patients. The data are summarized in two AHA fact sheets, available online.

And a note about those “free riders”:

The U.S. government’s Medicaid program for the poor may put more financial burden on overcrowded hospital emergency rooms than the nation’s 47 million uninsured

Researchers at the University of California San Francisco and Stanford University found that the uninsured patients paid 35 percent of their overall emergency room bills in 2004, versus 33 percent for Medicaid.

“What surprised us was that uninsured patients actually pay a higher proportion of their emergency department charges than Medicaid does,” said Renee Hsia, an emergency room doctor and researcher at UCSF who led the study.

“This runs counter to the widespread impression that the uninsured are universally poor payers,” said Hsia [...]

Xiphos on March 9, 2011 at 5:25 PM

That still debunks MJBrutus’ point.

crr6 on March 9, 2011 at 5:11 PM

Typical self-congratulatory nonsense. You have yet to say one word WRT my point. Every time it has been put to you, you point somewhere and say, “Look, a birdie.” And then you found the cojones to say that I copped out!

Answer my question or slink off in shame. How is a monopoly of labor, such as created by a closed shop union arrangement any less destructive to the workings of the free market than any other form of monopoly?

MJBrutus on March 9, 2011 at 5:27 PM

crr6 on March 9, 2011 at 5:22 PM

Is it really that hard to doa Google search on your own? You spent more time telling me to do it for you than the time it would have taken you to do it yourself.

angryed on March 9, 2011 at 5:27 PM

Did you even read the article? It doesn’t refute anything I said. The guy you quoted just said unions need to start caring about political issues as well as economic ones.

crr6 on March 9, 2011 at 5:11 PM

So you’re saying that the trade unions in Germany do not get into politics and Germany has a great economy because of that? Or are you saying that you are comparing apples and oranges and hoping no one will notice?

Vince on March 9, 2011 at 5:28 PM

Closed shop illegal in Germany.

visions on March 9, 2011 at 5:29 PM

Is it really that hard to doa Google search on your own?
angryed on March 9, 2011 at 5:27 PM

Apparently, because I can’t find it. I’m starting to think you made it up.

If you have a link, post it.

crr6 on March 9, 2011 at 5:30 PM

No one’s forced to buy healthcare, you just pay slightly higher taxes if you choose not to.

crr6 on March 9, 2011 at 3:33 PM

You know, normally you bring up good points that make me think and dig for answers. However, you really jumped the shark with this. “Just paying higher taxes” for chosing not to do something is coercion by any definition.

JSGreg3 on March 9, 2011 at 5:31 PM

Apparently, because I can’t find it. I’m starting to think you made it up.

If you have a link, post it.

crr6 on March 9, 2011 at 5:30 PM

I swear to you it exists. But it’s kind of fun seeing you get so upset over it.

angryed on March 9, 2011 at 5:33 PM

JSGreg3 on March 9, 2011 at 5:31 PM

Note also the subjective “slightly” higher. The fact is that the extra taxes must be punitive enough to convince enough people to buy in who otherwise wouldn’t or the system collapses!

MJBrutus on March 9, 2011 at 5:34 PM

I swear to you it exists. But it’s kind of fun seeing you get so upset over it.

angryed on March 9, 2011 at 5:33 PM

I found a link that says union membership in Brazil is 100000%. I swear to you it exists.

crr6 on March 9, 2011 at 5:34 PM

I found a link that says union membership in Brazil is 100000%. I swear to you it exists.

crr6 on March 9, 2011 at 5:34 PM

Is that from the same source that says Obamacare will save money and higher taxes lead to prosperity? I believe you.

angryed on March 9, 2011 at 5:38 PM

crr6 on March 9, 2011 at 5:34 PM

And I found a link that says you can’t tell us why labor monopolies are any less destructive than monopolies on other resources.

MJBrutus on March 9, 2011 at 5:39 PM

I think a better question is, why do you support free-riding leeches so much?

Let the “leeches” choose to negotiate their contract with management themselves, and NOT pay Union “dues.” Whattya think? Let them be free to choose that path or your Union controlled path and see what happens. Aren’t you lot all about “choice” after all??

EasyEight on March 9, 2011 at 5:39 PM

Since when has Germany’s economy become such a miracle? If Germany were a US State, it would be the sixth poorest (per capita). I guess, however, you could call it a miracle that it could manage to get to sixth to last with all its socialist policies.

Here’s the link for those of you too lazy to Google:

http://super-economy.blogspot.com/2010/01/dynamic-america-poor-europe.html

JSGreg3 on March 9, 2011 at 5:40 PM

You tried to dance around the issue, claiming that although people do not have choice in these matters, they somehow still do.

Either you have choice in joining or you don’t

Either you have choice in contributing to political parties you do not support or you don’t.

Either you have choice in buying into Unconstitutional Obamacare or you don’t.

Either you have choice or you don’t, how much simpler do I have to make that?

Chip on March 9, 2011 at 5:17 PM

Who’s dancing around? I never said you don’t have a choice. I think you have a choice whether or not to do all of those things.

crr6 on March 9, 2011 at 5:21 PM

How exactly do you have a choice in whether to buy into Unconstitutional Obamacare?

If you don’t do that, you will be punished for not doing so. It doesn’t matter if the penalty – in your opinion – isn’t that draconian, you are still being compled in the matter.

You don’t have a choice – you support those instances of not having a choice, hence you are Anti-choice and Anti-Liberty.

You keep on projecting the absurd idea that I am wrong somehow – without a shred of proof BTW.

Could it be your subconscious trying to let you know what is truly the situation in your own mind?

You need to let go of your ?hatred?; Of conservative principles and embrace the Liberty and freedom side of the political spectrum and leave the Leftist-Oppressive sphere of influence.

The emperor has foretold this and.. whoops.. started channeling some Star wars themes there.

Chip on March 9, 2011 at 5:40 PM

Unionized and Non-Unionized can work together just fine! Why are you afraid of individual choice?

HondaV65 on March 9, 2011 at 4:23 PM

ND is doing just fine over this.
But I have had no response over this issue from crrap6.

I think the Brazil thing is quite humerous.
So Brazil is the new ‘old’ America or something?
Isn’t that the country with huge populations of homeless children roaming about?
This is a country to emulate?

Badger40 on March 9, 2011 at 5:42 PM

Who is forced to join a union? If you don’t want to join a union, don’t work at a closed shop. Just get a job with another employer.

crr6 on March 9, 2011 at 2:34 PM

Tell that to a professional journalist.

F-

Del Dolemonte on March 9, 2011 at 5:43 PM

From the Economist (that unabashed extremist right wing Tea Party publication
:

The private sector is dominated by competition and turbulence. Performance-related pay is the norm, and redundancy commonplace. The public sector, by contrast, is a haven of security and stability. Many people have jobs for life and performance measures are rare. The result is a paradox: the typical public worker is better off than the people he is supposed to serve, and the gap has widened significantly over the past decade. In America, pay and benefits have grown twice as fast in the public sector as they have in the private sector.

Leave it to the foreign media to do what the MSM once upon a time did.

angryed on March 9, 2011 at 5:43 PM

Choices.
I have a choice with Obamacare: buy into it or pay higher taxes.
Pretty analagous to:
Death by drowning, hanging, or lethal injection. Take your pick.
Nowhere to be found is the choice of NOT dying.
Typical liberal.

Badger40 on March 9, 2011 at 5:44 PM

EasyEight on March 9, 2011 at 5:39 PM

Notice I mentioned how this happens & can happen in my right to work state of ND.
Notice this evidence has been ignored.

Badger40 on March 9, 2011 at 5:45 PM

More from The Economist:

Public-sector unions enjoy advantages that their private-sector rivals only dream of. As providers of vital monopoly services, they can close down entire cities. And as powerful political machines, they can help to pick the people who sit on the other side of the bargaining table. Daniel DiSalvo, the author of an excellent essay on America’s public-sector unions in National Affairs, points out that the American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees was the biggest contributor to political campaigns in 1989-2004. He also notes that such influence is more decisive in local campaigns, where turnout is low, than in national ones.

Why does the NY Times never mention any of this? Or WaPo? Or Time? Or Newsweek? Or CNN? Or Katie?

angryed on March 9, 2011 at 5:46 PM

I think the Brazil thing is quite humerous.
So Brazil is the new ‘old’ America or something?
Isn’t that the country with huge populations of homeless children roaming about?
This is a country to emulate?

Badger40 on March 9, 2011 at 5:42 PM

Indeed. And huge shanty towns as well. Welcome to the new and improved United States of America where even the lion of Europe’s economy (Germany) is now considered a miracle. You know Germany, the country with a per capita economic output slightly larger than Mississippi’s.

(Link provided earlier)

JSGreg3 on March 9, 2011 at 5:46 PM

crr6 had to leave and get some new talking points from Soros. The ones she was using fell flat.

angryed on March 9, 2011 at 5:53 PM

No one’s forced to buy healthcare, you just pay slightly higher taxes get punished by the IRS if you choose not to.

crr6 on March 9, 2011 at 3:33 PM

Fixed.

So that Commerce Clause thing worked out real good in Maine, didn’t it?

Del Dolemonte on March 9, 2011 at 5:54 PM

crr6

I feel the conflict within you, search your feelings, you know this to be true.

The Leftist-oppressive side of the political spectrum is becoming increasingly authoritarian.

You really need to come over to the side of freedom and liberty.

It matters not that it’s a small tax penalty for not buying into Unconstitutional Obamacare, it’s still the use of force by the government outside the limits of the Constitution.

Chip on March 9, 2011 at 5:56 PM

Woops! I meant to say Brazil, not Spain.

crr6 on March 9, 2011 at 4:50 PM

Brazil isn’t unionized.

And their President actually lets the oil companies drill for oil there.

F-

Del Dolemonte on March 9, 2011 at 6:00 PM

I feel the conflict within you, search your feelings, you know this to be true.

Chip on March 9, 2011 at 5:56 PM

Obiwan Chip?

darwin on March 9, 2011 at 6:01 PM

This is big. Brazil is self-sufficient in oil. We are too … except the federal government, or more accurately democrats, are preventing us from accessing the massives reserves we have.

darwin on March 9, 2011 at 5:23 PM

Don’t forget the $45 Billion we got from the IMF in 2001 and 2002 to help us through our economic doldrums.

Oh, wait, that was Brazil, not us. My bad.

Good Solid B-Plus on March 9, 2011 at 6:02 PM

I feel the conflict within you, search your feelings, you know this to be true.

Chip on March 9, 2011 at 5:56 PM

Obiwan Chip?

darwin on March 9, 2011 at 6:01 PM

LOL, maybe closer to Princess Leia.

Chip on March 9, 2011 at 6:06 PM

According to the CIA World Factbook, 26% of the population in Brazil lives below the poverty line.

The real question is: Crr, why do you hate poor people?

Good Solid B-Plus on March 9, 2011 at 6:07 PM

You know, normally you bring up good points that make me think and dig for answers. However, you really jumped the shark with this. “Just paying higher taxes” for chosing not to do something is coercion by any definition.

JSGreg3 on March 9, 2011 at 5:31 PM

You know, “technically” you’re allowed to murder people. You just go to jail if you do.

Good Solid B-Plus on March 9, 2011 at 6:10 PM

So to sum up your philosophy: you dont have to join our union but it would be a shame if something happened to your job.

I love the way your logic works. The government and unions force you to take a “benefit/entitlement” then use this fact to force you to do things their way.

gwelf on March 9, 2011 at 5:01 PM

I love it, too. Crr’s view of ‘coercion’ lines up perfectly with a mafia enforcer.

I mean, you don’t have to pay your protection money. No one is forcing you. We’ll just kill you if you don’t!

Good Solid B-Plus on March 9, 2011 at 6:23 PM

Odd, being the legal scholar you claim to be I thought you understood the concept of a closed shop.

No you DON’T have to work at the closed shop and join the union. But if it’s the only factory in town and the only source of jobs… you’re kinda “forced” to join the union to earn a living.

Skywise on March 9, 2011 at 3:26 PM

Also, what’s so bad about segregation? If one restaurant won’t accept your business, just drive to another city and eat there instead.

Stop being such a whiner!

Good Solid B-Plus on March 9, 2011 at 6:30 PM

I think crr6 would win these arguments hands down if she’d throw in a few anecdotes of her vast experience in the job market.

Or total lack thereof??

BigWyo on March 9, 2011 at 6:58 PM

The industrial revolution happened at the same time as the agricultural revolution was just beginning. Fewer farmers were producing more food than ever before. This resulted in there being a massive surplus in the labor market. As more jobs were created this surplus slowly was absorbed so that it became harder to find workers to fill a given position, and thus wages and work conditions improved. The unions falsely claimed credit for the change.

Slowburn on March 9, 2011 at 7:24 PM

crr6, here’s the thing – unions want a closed shop not because they want to get benefits for everyone. It’s their way of limiting competition. In an open shop the non union worker can negotiate their own contract and this is preicisely what the union does not want. The non union worker will under bid the union worker.

You also seem to be sidestepping two other big issues. Unions funnel tax money to Democrats and union contracts are going to bankrupt many states.

gwelf on March 9, 2011 at 7:56 PM

I love it, too. Crr’s view of ‘coercion’ lines up perfectly with a mafia enforcer.
I mean, you don’t have to pay your protection money. No one is forcing you. We’ll just kill you if you don’t!
Good Solid B-Plus on March 9, 2011 at 6:23 PM

Exactly what I was going for

gwelf on March 9, 2011 at 9:20 PM

I think a better question is, why do you support free-riding leeches so much? That is, why do you support people not purchasing insurance and dumping the costs of their emergency care on the rest of society? [...]

crr6 on March 9, 2011 at 3:33 PM

I’m pretty sure it was you idiots who created the policy of “emergency care is free if you don’t have insurance”

I don’t support free-riding leeches. If you don’t have insurance, then you pay for your care out-of-pocket. Wages garnished and property foreclosed on if you fail to pay.

Leftists are all the same: confiscate the farmer’s chickens, then fine him for failing to produce eggs.

Troll Feeder on March 9, 2011 at 9:32 PM

It’s worth remembering that unions don’t compete with companies. They compete with workers that don’t belong to the union.

applebutter on March 9, 2011 at 11:36 PM

It’s worth remembering that unions don’t compete with companies. They compete with workers that don’t belong to the union.
applebutter on March 9, 2011 at 11:36 PM

Bingo

gwelf on March 10, 2011 at 1:28 AM

I like the idea of national right to work laws; but, I do not see which part of the Constitution makes it legal.

{o.o}

herself on March 10, 2011 at 2:08 AM

In an open shop the non union worker can negotiate their own contract and this is preicisely what the union does not want. The non union worker will under bid the union worker.

gwelf on March 9, 2011 at 7:56 PM

On the flip side of that, if there is a worker who has rare skills & is a commodity in short supply, the union keeps that person from negotiating a better deal for themselves.
Here in ND the union really whines about paying one teaching discipline more than another.
As a science teacher I believe I deserve more $$ bcs my skills are worth more $$$.
You really do get what you pay for.
I have the ability to teach ALL sciences grades 7-12.
That’s not a small thing. Plus I also bring with me a dual-credit science class as well.
And yet, the union thinks I should get paid the same as someone else with skills that would net them a job at Walmart in the private sector.
Many science teachers up here in the greater Northern Plains have left teaching for the oil industry. They are making more $$.
I have thought about it, but I’m a rancher’s wife. So my decision is not based upon $$ alone, but health benefits & convenience of the short working year.
However, I have known some sci teachers here in ND that have received large bonuses bcs the positions here in our very rural areas are hard to fill.
Money talks.

Badger40 on March 10, 2011 at 8:55 AM

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