NCPA Expert Urges Congress to End Political Monopoly of Union Dues
January 21, 1998
Washington, D.C. - "The Paycheck Fairness Act is the second-best solution to the problem of unions abusing workers' paychecks." That's what Dr. Morgan Reynolds, a senior fellow for the National Center for Policy Analysis, testified to a House subcommittee today.
The legislation would require unions to obtain written permission before spending a worker's compulsory dues for political purposes. Reynolds told the Subcommittee on Employer-Employee Relations that the legislation is only the start of a process needed to restore unions to a position where they rely on persuasion rather than coercion to gain support for their favorite candidates and causes.
"The bill is a noble idea," Reynolds said, "but the truth is it may be difficult to enforce." He referred to the Supreme Court ruling in the case of Beck. The Court held that workers are entitled to a rebate of any part of dues that are involuntarily used by unions for political purposes. The ruling has been ineffective because of problems like incomplete information among workers, cumbersome rebate procedures, union delays and evasions and a lack of enforcement.
Reynolds testified that the ultimate solution would be to end monopoly representation. "If unions didn't have to represent nonmembers, forced unionism and forced dues wouldn't exist, and neither would the problem of how dues are spent politically."
Though Reynolds concedes that in today's political atmosphere repealing the monopoly representation section of the National Labor Relations Act or passage of legislation for paycheck fairness will be tough, "it won't be in the future," he said. "This is a nation dedicated to freedom. Collections of compulsory dues continue to anger Americans because fewer and fewer believe that unions are necessary for justice in the workplace."