Well, this is certainly interesting. A group of Democrats, led by Bernie Sanders, Kirsten Gillibrand, Elizabeth Warren and Cory Booker have filed legislation designed to essentially gut the ability of individual states to pass right-to-work laws and hand back iron-fisted control of the workplace environment to labor unions. The fact that Democrats oppose right-to-work laws is nothing new, nor is the reality that labor unions fund a large part of their election efforts. But do you notice anything that those names I listed have in common? Every one of them has been repeatedly mentioned as a possible 2020 presidential candidate. The Free Beacon has the details.
Senator Bernie Sanders (I., Vt.) filed legislation Wednesday that would significantly strengthen the power of organized labor.
Sanders, along with senators Cory Booker (D., N.J.), Elizabeth Warren (D., Mass.), and Kirsten Gillibrand (D., N.Y.), among others, introduced the Workplace Democracy Act, which would make it easier for workers to unionize and enter into contractual negotiations with employers…
Sanders’s bill seeks to reverse the course by scrapping current procedures in place governing the establishment of a union. Presently, 30 percent of an organization’s employees must sign a petition requesting the formal creation of a union. The National Labor Relations Board then administers an election of all eligible employees to ensure that there is significant support for unionization.
The most glaring item on the agenda is the elimination of free elections among employees when deciding whether or not to unionize. Under this new scheme, the Labor Unions would only have to convince a majority of “workers” to sign a petition and the matter would go straight to the NLRB for a decision without any time for campaigning or debate. A stealth effort could see this happening before the employer and any workers not interested in unionizing even knew it was going on. And I put “workers” in scare quotes because the bill also expands the definition of that word to include independent contractors or temp agency employees. In other words, if they were coming up short, the unions could go and attempt to convince any of those outside resource contractors to sign on and get them over the top.
But buried in the bill is an even more insidious poison pill. Sanders and his pals are looking to repeal the portion of the National Labor Relations Act which gives states the option to pass right-to-work laws. That would essentially negate all of the progress which has been made in the fight for fair labor practices and options over the past two decades. Once again, all workers would be forced to contribute a portion of their income every week to the political efforts of the union, even if the platform is directly opposite the workers’ preferences. This would continue the government endorsed tradition of robbing workers of their right to free speech.
Fortunately, the odds of this bill ever seeing a floor vote are currently next to zero, say nothing of being signed into law. This is mostly a stunt to allow Democrats to win points with their base and, probably more importantly, the unions who heavily fund their campaigns. It’s also a talking point for their presidential primary hopefuls to have on their resumes. But it’s worth noting that this is a Democratic wishlist item. If the country hands control back to the Democrats, much like promising to raise your taxes, this could become the new reality in a few years.