Rep. Brad Sherman (D-Calif.) Spreading Lies About Right to Work Laws
Today, Rep. Brad Sherman (D-Calif.) circulated a memo to his Democrat colleagues urging them to support a federal bill that will abolish 22 state’s right to work laws.
Right to Work laws are statutes enforced in twenty-two states, allowed under the provisions of the Taft-Hartley Act, which prohibit unions from making membership and payment of dues a condition of employment.
AWF Executive Director Brian Johnson says, “Right to work laws are essential to protecting the Constitutional right to freedom of association, as well as the common-law principle of private property ownership with regard to forcing workers to relinquish part of their paycheck to an external entity as a condition of employment.”
In his memo, Rep. Sherman states “This [Right to Work laws] forces unions to use their time and members’ dues to provide benefits to free riders who are exempt from paying their fair share.”
“Workers should be free to refrain from becoming part of an external organization, without being forced to do so merely by working in a state that does not have right to work laws. The forced payment of union dues as a condition of employment directly interferes with an open and free market labor model and is counterproductive to sustain an open and prosperous society. Rep. Sherman is simply trying to force every worker to pay these dues – even if they have no interest in joining a union and could care less about being ‘covered’ by union provisions. This is as anti-worker and pro-union as it gets!”
See the full letter from Rep. Sherman to his colleagues below and view the PDF here (note: this was copied from an email alert Rep. Sherman's office sent out).
From: The Honorable Brad Sherman
Help Eliminate Unfair Labor Laws: Give Unions a Fair Deal
I write to encourage you to join me and become a cosponsor of legislation that eliminates so-called “right to work” laws.
These laws strip unions of their legitimate ability to collect dues, even when the worker is covered by a union-negotiated collective bargaining agreement. This forces unions to use their time and members’ dues to provide benefits to free riders who are exempt from paying their fair share.
In 1947, Section 14(b) of the Taft Hartley Act stripped the Federal government of its role in protecting the American workers’ right to freedom of association by allowing states to pass legislation that eliminates the ability of unions to collect dues from their members. The result is a confusing web of labor laws that encourages a race to the bottom.
These so called “right to work” laws have come to be known as “right to work for less”, because employees in states with these laws average about $5,333 a year less than workers in labor rights states.
“Right to work” laws create different standards for union membership in different states. This results not only in confusion over the regulation of union membership, but also places a higher cost on worker representation in labor rights states.
Join me in putting an end to these unnecessary restrictions. Please contact John Brodtke of my staff at John.Brodtke@mail.house.gov if you would like to be added as a cosponsor.
Member of Congress