Protecting Workers from Union Abuse

The non-profit National Right to Work Legal Defense Foundation is dedicated to providing free legal aid to employees that have had their rights violated by compulsory unionism. Their mission is to affirm “the right of every American to work for a living without being compelled to belong to a union.”

The foundation strongly believes that compulsory unionism goes against Americans’ basic rights. The foundation argues cases involving unions taking workers’ money to spend on political causes, union violations of employees’ constitutional and civil rights, union interference in academic freedom, and any other union infringement of the individual rights of employees.

Mark Mix, president of the National Right to Work Committee and the National Right to Work Legal Defense Foundation, says that “the committee and its 2.2 million members would lead efforts this year to get the real facts about the economically detrimental and freedom-crushing card-check legislation out to the American people.”

This effort has been in full swing recently since the Employee Free Choice Act (EFCA) was reintroduced in Congress by Sen. Tom Harkin (D.-Iowa) and Rep. George Miller (D.-Calif.). This bill would allow unions to form if enough workers sign cards or petitions and would do away with the secret ballot.

The National Right to Work Newsletter said that the Kennedy/Miller legislation “would empower union officials to impose forced unionism through card-check automatically, with no recourse for any pro-right-to-work employee or employer.”

As of now, the outcome of the vote is still being decided. Mix said that in order to get the word out to the American people National Right to Work is currently “undertaking the largest mobilization in our organization’s history.” They are sending out mail, emails and their two phone banks “dial 17,000 phone calls an hour.”

Card-check legislation isn’t the only thing that Right to Work focuses on though. They highlight specific abuses by unions through three special projects listed on their website.

The first is a section entitled “Top Down Organizing: Big Labor’s War Against Employee Free Choice.” Big Labor has increased its campaign to force unionization on employees and uses methods like “neutrality agreements” and “card-check campaigns.” This section of the website explains what these methods entail and how employees can fight it.

The second issue that National Right to Work focuses on is religious freedom in the workplace. Employees, under federal civil rights laws, do not have to pay dues to the union if doing so directly conflicts with their religious beliefs. If employees find that unions do not give them this right then the Foundation’s Freedom of Conscience Project is ready to give free legal assistance. They also provide a booklet entitled “Union Dues and Religious Do Nots.” This booklet is a guide for employees on their legal rights and highlights how they can be a “religious objector” to being forced to pay union dues.

The third special project under National Right to Work is the Concerned Educators Against Forced Unionism (CEAFU). CEAFU works to ensure that forced unionism is not implemented in public education in America. According to their website, “before 1975, teachers had no professional alternatives to teacher union membership, and teacher union bosses were well on their way to realizing their dream … of controlling who enters, who stays, and who leaves the [teaching] profession.”

Right to Work is an organization that mobilizes groups of people that believe in worker’s rights and individual freedom. Mix believes that the strength of the organization lies in its ability to “focus on grassroots” and “mobilize Americans.”