Rand Paul introduces one-page bill prohibiting forced unionization
Thomas Catenacci, DCNF
Republicans Sen. Rand Paul and Rep. Joe Wilson reintroduced the National Right to Work Act on Wednesday, which would prohibit unions from coercing private sector employees from paying dues.
The National Right to Work Act is a one-page bill that doesn’t add to existing labor law, but removes language from past legislation, South Carolina Rep. Joe Wilson said Wednesday. The bill was originally introduced in 2019 with widespread Republican support on Capitol Hill, but never received a vote.
“Today I reintroduced the National Right to Work Act to end forced union dues for American workers all across the country,” Kentucky Sen. Rand Paul said in a video statement. “The way the law is written today, millions of private sector workers can be forced to surrender part of every paycheck to a labor union as a condition of employment.”
The legislation would amend the National Labor Relations Act of 1935 and Railway Labor Act of 1926 by striking several clauses that currently force workers into paying dues to a labor union that represents their particular workplace, according to the text of the bill.
“In an age of legislative overreach, this is one of the shortest bills ever introduced,” National Right to Work Defense Foundation President Mark Mix said in an emailed statement Wednesday.
“The National Right to Work Act does not add a single word to federal law,” he continued. “It simply removes language in depression-era federal law that gives union officials the power to extract dues from non-union workers as a condition of employment.”
Wilson noted that 80% of Americans believe the decision to join a union and pay dues should be up to each individual worker.
“This bill is about giving freedom to hard-working Americans,” Wilson said in a statement. “As one of twenty-seven right-to-work states, South Carolina has seen firsthand the job creation when we protect freedoms for American workers.”
Wilson added that the National Right to Work Act has more than 60 co-sponsors in the House.
Right-to-work laws exist in 27 states, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures. Nine of those states have adopted amendments, which enshrine right-to-work in their constitution.
Such legislation guarantees citizens the ability to choose whether they’d like to join or not join a labor union, according to the National Right to Work Legal Foundation. This type of legislation is fiercely opposed by unions, which they say take rights away from working people.