On August 29, 2019, Mark Mix, president of the National Right to Work Legal Defense Foundation and the National Right to Work Committee, had powerful words for this upcoming Labor Day.
Mix recognizes that Labor Day is a day where “many American workers are enjoying a well-deserved extra day of rest and relaxation with their families.” While these workers should be celebrated, Mix still believes “America must do more to protect the dignity of every American worker against the injustices of compulsory unionism.”
The NRTW president cited Samuel Gompers, founder of the AFL-CIO union to illustrate the difference between freedom versus compulsion in the workplace. Gomper said, “I want to urge devotion to the fundamentals of human liberty – the principles of voluntarism. No lasting gain has ever come from compulsion.”
According to Mix, “where Gompers’ advice has been followed and voluntarism reinforced, workers and economic opportunity have flourished.”
The right-to-work leader cited victories such as the United States Supreme Court’s decision last year in Janus v. AFSCME which restored the “First Amendment rights of millions of public sector workers to choose individually whether or not union bosses deserve their financial support.” National Right to Work Foundation staff attorneys were present throughout this fight. Mix also cites right-to-work’s success at the state level, where 27 states have this law on the books which protects “millions of private sector workers from being fired simply for refusing to pay tribute to union officials.”
However, Mix argues that the fight is far from over. He notes that “millions of Americans are still forced to subsidize union boss activities or else lose their job.”
Mix adds that “millions more are forced to accept forced union representation even when they oppose such representation and believe they would be better off without it.”
With the 2020 election around the corner, Mix asserts that the “American people are presented with two starkly different visions for the freedoms of America’s workers.” The National Right to Work Act, is currently sitting in Congress and would expand upon the victories gained in the Janus decision and state Right to Work laws by “expanding workers’ freedom to decide the whether or not to join and financially support a labor union.”
On the other side, Big Labor is ready to drop billions of dollars to “expand union coercion over rank-and-file workers.” Their top legislative priority is the “PRO Act” which would “expand union boss power to force workers into their ranks and also wipe out every state Right to Work law to give union officials the power to have millions of additional workers fired for not paying union dues or fees.”
Although these schemes to expand workplace compulsion are appealing to union bosses and politicians, Mix argues that they are “completely out of step with rank-and-file workers and the American people who overwhelmingly back the Right to Work principle that union membership and financial support should be strictly voluntary.”
Mix concluded with the following statement:
So this Labor Day, we should take Gompers’ words to heart and be on guard for attempts to undermine workers’ individual freedoms. And we should honor American workers by trusting each one to decide for him or herself whether or not to affiliate with a labor union.
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