This week, the Democrats solidified their devotion to Big Labor by passing the most pro-labor, anti-worker piece of legislation ever to grace the halls of Congress.
Big Labor = Big Business! The biggest misconception people have about labor unions is that they are for the “little guy,” the “common man.” The American public don’t see unions for what they actually are; private businesses that takes money from public employees, sometimes forcibly, and call it union dues. Thankfully, that business is dying.
The “Protecting the Right to Organize Act,” the “PRO Act,” also known as House Resolution 842, passed the United States House of Representatives on Tuesday night. This legislation is a sweeping labor reform that should have been no less than nine stand-alone bills, but instead was rolled into one big pot of gold and placed at the end of the congressional rainbow for Big Labor. What does expanding union employees’ rights to strike have to do with whether an Uber driver should be classified as an employee or an independent contractor? Nothing, except for the fact that each of these provisions can be found buried in the “PRO Act.”
What is the “PRO Act,” and why is it so bad for the average American? Since the bill is so broad in the issues it tackles, it only makes sense to address them individually. There are a number of provisions that only pertain to businesses, labor attorneys and those specifically working in labor relations; however, the focus here is on the impact to Americans with a job.
The “PRO Act” is a continuation of the all-out assault against the “gig economy,” which includes drivers for app-based ride services such as Uber and Lyft, as well as food delivery services, and the list goes on for the countless structured side hustles which exist today. It is estimated that nearly 60 million Americans participate in the gig economy and with so many people having lost their jobs due to COVID shutdowns, it is likely that the number of gig economy participants has skyrocketed over the last year. These people are looking to earn extra money, most have other jobs or many clients and need the flexibility of an independent contractor relationship with no desire to be full time employees. The “PRO Act” makes this more complicated for one purpose; union bosses wanted a new avenue for prospective members.
The “PRO Act” forces an employer to turn private, personal information about its employees over to the unions. Specifically, they must provide unions with home addresses, work locations, shifts, job classifications, and, if available to the employer, personal landline and mobile telephone numbers, as well as work and personal email addresses. The potential implications of this much personal data getting out are obvious, and on top of that, there are many cases where an employee of a union was arrested for identity theft.
Under current labor law, when employees are actively considering whether they wish to be represented by a union, a process takes place where employers are allowed to plead their case, educate employees on their rights, explain what a union can and can’t do for them and show them where unions spend their money via public financial reports unions are required to file every year. Unions can promise employees the moon and say anything they want because it is viewed as a sales process under the law. The employer, on the other hand, is viewed as having real power over its employees but must rely on hard facts. Employers are currently allowed and take advantage of the opportunity to show its employees, should they vote in the union, how their dues money will be funding political agendas they might not agree with, as well as the union officers’ exorbitant salaries and outlandish benefits that often include private jet travel, company vehicles, and lavish retreats. They also show them the types of contracts the union tends to bargain for which can and often times do, result in less pay, worse benefits and less time off if the employer would agree to some contentious provision, like taking dues directly from members’ paychecks. The “PRO Act” would make this process illegal and employees would only be allowed to hear from the union, which is under no legal constraints for what they can or can’t say to prospective members.
Perhaps the biggest assault on American workers is the repeal of right-to-work. One of the most common arguments one hears from supporters of the “PRO Act” is that it protects the fundamental American right to be a part of a labor union. However, it is equally as fundamental of a right not be part of a labor union, just like it is a right not to support any other activist group. Labor unions are extremely active in all levels of American politics and all too often go off the rails from the core values most of their members hold dear. Repealing right-to-work would force nearly a million Americans around the country to either join the union as a full-fledged member or pay “fair share dues”, which are typically around 85 percent of a full membership. Forced union dues means mandatory funding of a political agenda regardless of where its members stand. That is an absolute violation of “freedom of association.” Labor unions of course do not tell their members this and it is the primary issue with a case Freedom Foundation has pending before the Supreme Court, Belgau vs Inslee. The Freedom Foundation is arguing that before a union can start collecting dues from a member, the member must be made aware that the union will be speaking on their behalf, not only on employment related issues, but political issues as well.
The “PRO act” is not good for American workers, and only benefits union bosses and the politicians they fund.
Aaron Withe is the CEO of the Freedom Foundation, a nonprofit that specializes in exposing and battling abuses by government employee unions.
The views expressed in this opinion piece are the author’s own and do not necessarily represent those of The Daily Wire.
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