NCPA - National Center for Policy Analysis

Assault on Workers' Rights

February 26, 1997

Some labor and political experts charge that Republicans are in danger of embracing a flawed solution to the problem of union bosses who use member dues for political purposes. The Supreme Court's Communications Workers of America v. Beck decision of 1988 held that employees cannot be forced to pay for non-collective bargaining activities, such as political contributions.

Reformers want that decision codified into law.

  • But GOP leaders are embracing a solution which will actually thwart efforts to eliminate compulsory union dues for political purposes, critics warn.
  • At issue is a bill introduced last year by Rep. Harris Fawell (R-Ill.), which would give sole responsibility for enforcing Beck to the National Labor Relations Board -- an agency which has demonstrated hostility to workers' First Amendment rights, political analysts charge.
  • Labor reform advocates recommend, instead, passage of the National Right to Work Act, introduced last month by Rep. Bob Goodlatte (R-Va.) -- which would end compulsory unionism and thus protect the political rights of workers.

Supporters claim that 80 percent of Americans support the National Right to Work Act.

Source: Reed E. Larson (National Right to Work Committee), "Time to End Compulsory Unionism," Wall Street Journal, February 26, 1996.


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