Top 10 Labor Union Power Grabs
Ranked by FreedomWorks, a nonpartisan grassroots organization with nearly 850,000 members nationwide fighting for lower taxes, less government, and more freedom.
10. Amtrak Misery. America has the worst passenger rail in the developed world despite spending tens of billions of taxpayer dollars in subsidies. And, there’s no light at the end of this tunnel as long as Amtrak is controlled by 14 different unions and 26 different collective bargaining units, and their patrons in Congress.
9. The New Apollo Project. Everyone is trying cash in on “alternative energy,” even the unions. Seventeen of them, including the UAW, the United Steel Workers, and the AFL-CIO, have created the “New Apollo Project”, in order to raise taxes and fund $300 billion in new government spending on hybrid automobile technology and mass transit. The private sector, not more government spending, will solve America’s energy challenges.
8. Funding the Political Left. During the Cold War, labor unions helped defend capitalism and defeat the forces of global communism. Today’s labor leaders, however, use forced union dues taken directly from workers to fund the socialist Left. Union-funded “grassroots” projects like Change America Now (CAN) attack conservative political leaders and promote the union legislative agenda.
7. Davis-Bacon Prevailing Wages. The Davis-Bacon Act forces the federal government to overpay workers on many government construction and road-building contracts, costing taxpayers billions of dollars a year in unnecessary expenses.
6. Minimum Wage Boosts. The unions want the federal government to set a national minimum wage, even though it increases unemployment for the lowest skilled workers. The reasons are both ideological and self-interested, since some union contracts are tied to the minimum wage.
5. TSA Collective Bargaining. In the wake of 9/11, Congress foolishly federalized airport passenger screening. As a result, the Transportation Safety Administration (TSA) now has more federal employees than the Coast Guard, the FBI, or Border Patrol. The unions want to grant TSA workers “collective bargaining rights,” which would be the next step in turning the TSA into a another bungling federal bureaucracy.
4. Social Security Dependency. The unions are the entrenched opposition to letting America’s workers control their retirement through personal retirement accounts. They need to keep workers trapped in the current system, which raids workers’ Social Security payroll taxes and spends them on other government programs — which employ lots of public employee union members. The real victims of opposition to personal accounts are lower wage workers, who will be denied the opportunity to accumulate any wealth for their retirement.
3. Compulsory Medicare for Everyone. Even though the current Medicare system is hurtling towards bankruptcy, the AFL-CIO is desperate to enlarge it. “Expanding Medicare” is the unions’ next step in their quest for single payer health care. The unions want a system where Congress controls the health care system, not patients and their doctors.
2. Teachers’ Unions Public School Monopoly. The National Education Association and their allies continue to trap too schoolchildren in failing public schools. Even though America’s per pupil spending has more than doubled since 1965 in constant dollars, our students consistently under perform against our international competitors. Instead of giving parents and students control over their education with school choice vouchers, the unions want even more taxpayer dollars for their broken monopoly.
1. Card Check Workplace Intimidation. Expanding union membership — and the forced dues and political donations they extract from union workers — is the number one priority for the union bosses and their patrons in the Democrat party. Titled the Employee Free Choice Act, informally called “card check,” this bill is Labor’s latest effort to force more workers under union control. Instead of letting workers decide on organizing in a workplace election, as the system currently allows, the unions want to eliminate secret ballots. If Card Check passes, workers will be forced to publicly declare their vote to a union boss at the factory door. This bill has already passed the House and would open the workplace to intimidation and corruption, and is directly contrary to the American tradition of democracy and fair play.