Since it kicked off on Monday, I hope that by now you’ve gotten a Hallmark card in the mail wishing you a festive and productive National Employee Freedom Week. In case you weren’t aware that this was going on, the Workforce Fairness Institute is celebrating this recognition of the rights of workers and encouraging their ability to shake off some of the most oppressive union tactics. Sadly, many workers in union shops are unaware that they have choices when it comes to union control of the workplace and their voice in the political process, and this week marks a concerted effort to inform them of their options.
WFI spokesperson Heather Greenaway explored the subject at Townhall and explains the importance of this information campaign.
National Employee Freedom Week is a critical tool to educate workers about their individual rights in the workplace. Far too often, employees feel coerced to join a union and aren’t informed that they have a choice in the matter. Thus, this is a week dedicated to empowering employees with the information they need to make their own decisions about unionization in the workplace and inform them of the alternative options at their disposal.
According to National Employee Freedom Week’s 2016 survey, more than two-thirds of union households believe workers should be able to negotiate directly with their employer and completely opt-out of union dues or agency fees. And almost 30 percent of respondents said they would opt-out of union membership if it were possible to do so without penalties. However, many American workers don’t realize they have a choice – and don’t understand their rights. That’s why the work undertaken by National Employee Freedom Week leadership is so important.
National labor leaders who make their living and feather their beds nicely via the status quo love unions. Democrats love unions because they are the largest Super PACs that liberals have and they can be used to get out the vote for their party. But as the survey referenced by Heather shows, do you know who’s not so in love with unions anymore? The workers. And why would they be?
In bygone generations, labor unions represented the workers in badly needed ways, getting new labor laws passed which ensured safe job site conditions, medical coverage, fair pay and a host of other reforms which were needed as a result of abuses which arose in the dawn of the industrial era. Thankfully, most of those problems are things of the past, but the unions remain, fatter and more powerful than they were in the post-war era. Their numbers have been on the decline since American workers have become increasingly aware of their options, but their political power is still beyond question.
As we’ve discussed here in the past, whatever good the unions still do is frequently outweighed by their shady tactics and oppressive control of the employment landscape in many areas. People fighting for a higher minimum wage are still largely unaware that their unions have cut deals allowing employers in union shops to pay rates below the new legal minimums… providing the employer unionizes their workplace. (This is happening in the hotel industry in California today.) And the unions demand their dues – even from nonmembers in many places – which are used to support candidates who the workers themselves may abhor. And if you complain about it your career is almost immediately in jeopardy.
Workers do have options and the more they speak up, the more they will be free to exercise them. Check out the linked material above for more information and get the word out to those you know who are stuck in closed union shops.