Workers Should be Able to Reassess Their Unions

A recent opinion piece in the Las Vegas Review-Journal takes on union’s anti-choice mentalities. Until recently, unions could force all employees nationwide to pay dues, even if the workers did not want to be part of a union, and in some states, they still can. Likewise, once unions are certified, they often never have to go through the process again, leaving union members with unions that were certified decades before the employees began working in their companies.

Legislation has aimed to correct these injustices. Right-to-work laws, which allow workers to opt-out of union dues, have been passed in 28 states. Federal reform is also making its way through Congress as the Employee Rights Act. The Act would update antiquated American labor laws, requiring secret-ballot union elections and periodic recertifications. The same Act would make it illegal for union bosses to spend dues on political activity.

Although most union leaders fight against these pro-worker laws, even claiming right-to-work is meant “to destroy unions,” some see value in the proposed measures. Gary Casteel, formerly in charge of organizing Southern auto plants, and Ben Johnson, former president of Vermont AFL-CIO, feel moving unions in a pro-worker direction is good for union performance. It forces the unions to focus on their employees’ needs instead of their own agendas.

Union workers agree. According to a recent study conducted for National Employee Freedom Week (Aug. 20-26, 2017), 70 percent of the 1,700 union workers surveyed thought periodic recertification elections were a good idea. Perhaps its time for unions to listen to them.

Read the full article here.