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No One Should Be Forced to Join a Union

By Deroy Murdock

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Even as they scream for "workers' rights," the one workers' right that union bosses despise is the right to work. Big Labor and its overwhelmingly Democratic allies oppose a woman's right to choose whether or not to join a union. Instead, they prefer that predominantly male employers and labor leaders make that choice for her.

The American left has hoisted "choice" onto a pedestal taller than the Washington Monument. Liberals and their Big Labor buddies will race to their battle stations to defend a woman's right to choose to abort her unborn child. Meanwhile, they holler themselves hoarse to prevent her (and her male counterparts) from freely choosing to accept or avoid union membership.

Sen. Jim DeMint, R-S.C., understands that exercising this choice is a basic human right, and neither private employment nor government work should require joining or paying dues to a union.

"Many Americans already are struggling just to put food on the table," DeMint said, "and they shouldn't have to fear losing their jobs or face discrimination if they don't want to join a union." Thus, on Tuesday, DeMint introduced the National Right to Work Act.

If not today, then soon, a federally protected individual right to work should be signed into law.

The Act's economic rationale is compelling:

·Among America's 22 right-to-work states (including Florida, Georgia, and Texas), non-farm private-sector employment grew 3.7 percent from 1999 to 2009, while it shrank 2.8 percent among America's 28 forced-unionism states (e.g., California, Illinois, and New York).

·During those 10 years, real personal income rose 28.3 percent in right-to-work states and sank 14.7 percent in forced-unionism states.

·In 2009, cost-of-living-adjusted, per-capita, disposable, personal income was $35,543 in right-to-work states versus $33,389 in forced-unionism states. Americans in right-to-work states enjoyed more freedom, plus this $2,154 premium.

Notwithstanding that right-to-work states are comparatively prosperous engines of job growth, the case for right-to-work is not merely economic but also moral.

"Government has granted union officials the unprecedented power to force individual employees to pay up or be fired and to coerce workers into subsidizing union speech," says the National Right to Work Committee's Patrick Semmens. "This fundamental violation of individual liberty — an infringement on freedom of speech and freedom of association — finally would end with passage of the NRTWA."

"Compulsory unionism . . . should not be lawful under a free government or tolerated by a free people," Donald R. Richberg argued in his book, "Compulsory Unionism: The New Slavery". As a labor attorney and federal official, Richberg helped draft landmark union laws, including the 1926 Railway Labor Act, the 1933 National Industrial Recovery Act, and the 1947 Taft-Hartley Act. Later in his career, however, Richberg considered such legislation authoritarian.

Richberg added, "A voluntary organization of workers united for self-help is inherently a much stronger organization than a union composed, to a considerable extent, of unwilling members."

Indeed, labor leaders should not fear voluntary membership. If their talents for securing higher wages, richer pensions, and cozier working conditions are truly as impressive as advertised, Americans should line up to sign up. If, however, unions must dragoon workers into their ranks, why should government allow or even mandate such bondage?

Last October, pollster Frank Luntz surveyed 760 private- and public- sector unionized employees. Eighty percent agreed that union membership and dues should be optional. Hence, the National Right To Work Act is good policy and good politics — if only Republicans and free-marketeers would promote it.

Today's union bosses may dismiss the NRTWA as a right-wing plot. But they should recognize that it reflects the philosophy of a pioneer union boss.
None other than Samuel Gompers, founder of the American Federation of Labor, once wisely said: "I want to urge devotion to the fundamentals of human liberty — the principles of voluntarism. No lasting gain has ever come from compulsion. If we seek to force, we but tear apart that which, united, is invincible."

Deroy Murdock is a columnist with Scripps Howard News Service and a media fellow with the Hoover Institution on War, Revolution and Peace at Stanford University. E-mail him at

Will Barack Try Syndicalism to Cripple America?


Obama Unions a Microcosm of Liberalism: Parasites Devouring Their Host

ByKelly O'Connell Sunday, March 13, 2011


When Obama predictably stood up for Wisconsin unions, he didn’t create sympathy but merely cast a spotlight upon bygone methods and absurdly selfish goals. Unions typically represent the proposition that, regardless of the underlying economic state, their power and wealth is sacrosanct. Such obscene leftist power-brokering led to the demise of Detroit as the world’s automobile capital. It is time we defang and emasculate these anachronisms of Marxism. Foolhardy attempts by Barack to steer America back to the glory days of Norma Rae‘s nest of socialist maggots is doomed to fail. Labor union cliches are so dated they are as embarrassing to hear recited as an ancient prayer from a long-dead cult.

But the real question is whether America can cast off Obama and his buddies’ repeated attacks against capitalism and democracy. They may now rejoice like grave robbers celebrating a zombie festival, but soon their day will pass. The pestilential and pernicious effects of unions cannot be ignored, but must be exposed and shouted down as much as the neighborhood molester. This is the subject of this essay.


I. History of American Labor Unions


According to Morgan Reynolds in A History of Labor Unions, uions were not part of colonial society. It wasn’t until the beginning of the 19 century that certain professions began to organize to demand higher wages and restrict employment to members. The template was set in England, where unions used strikes and violence to achieve their goal of higher wages and better working conditions.


American unions lost many court cases for their nefarious activities, and it wasn’t until the MA Supreme Court case Commonwealth v. Hunt that union rights began to become entrenched. The court rule that a union was not, by definition, illegal, unless they gathered to do illegal activities, writing:


The manifest intent of the association is, to induce all those engaged in the same occupation to become members of it. Such a purpose is not unlawful. It would give them a power which might be exerted for useful and honorable purposes, or for dangerous and pernicious ones. If the latter were the real and actual object, and susceptible of proof, it should have been specially charged. Such an association might be used to afford each other assistance in times of poverty, sickness and distress; or to raise their intellectual, moral and social condition; or to make improvement in their art; or for other proper purposes.


And yet, the problem with subsequent union activities is they very often broke both the spirit and letter of the law. Many radical attempts to unionize America were attempted, and most rejected, including overt Marxism associated with European efforts. But one survived:


Eventually, one form of unionism emerged as a survivor…Experiments with political radicalism gave way to so-called “business unionism,” the notion that unions must pursue immediate, material gain for members within the free-enterprise system. The underlying idea was to accept the capitalist wage, price, and political system and achieve marginal gains for members within it. Consequently, the ambitions of social visionaries and leftist radicals who saw unions as a vehicle for radical change gradually fell by the wayside.


Such influential leaders as Samuel Gompers and his American Federation of Labor (AFL) were effective, although only half a million Americans were union members by the turn of the 20th century, representing a mere 2% of the labor force. But because of WWI, unions grew more powerful, achieving a high-water mark of 12% of the workforce. Yet, membership later ebbed back down to 6%.


After WWI, the Great Depression set the stage for a revival of unions, and six great labor Acts were passed to help save the movement: Davis-Bacon (1931), Norris-LaGuardia (1932), National Industrial Recovery Act (1933), Wagner National Labor Relations Act (1935), Walsh-Healey (1936), and the Fair Labor Standards Act (1938) (aka the “minimum wage law.”). Unfortunately, this misbegotten wave of legislation was born of illiterate economics and ended up empowering unions while permamently hobbling American markets.


Membership fluctuated, then fell:


According to OECD data, estimated union density in the United States was 30.9% in 1960, 22.3% in 1980, 12.8% in 2000 and 11.6% in 2007. While the overall rate of decline has recently slowed, the decline in private sector union membership has been partially concealed by union growth in the public sector.


So, why does membership continue to drop today, not just in the US, but across the Western world? Because the purposes of the labor movement—higher wages, more job security, and better working conditions—have been so fully met through legal means, the movement became redundant. And now the US union movement is so insulated and intoxicated by its self-pitying and overly dramatic rhetoric, it is utterly disconnected from the reality all non-union Americas interract with, daily. And the only unions growing are public, not private.


II. Recent American Labor Disasters


A. Detroit

We can’t understand the failure of unionism until we study Detroit losing its manufacturing base because of labor’s short-sightedness. Detroit collapsed because of the insane dictates of labor unions, who were never happy until they etracted the last penny from their capitalist bosses. But now the city has lost half its population from a high of 2 million, and the infrastructure is in tatters.


Commentator Steve Crowder made an eye-opening video describing how unions and leftism caused an unprecedented collapse of Detroit society and infrastructure.


Writes the National Review:


The UAW refused to accept pay parity with non-union foreign automakers by the end of 2009. That pay scale—among the best hourly wages in America at $26-an-hour plus benefits, totaling $48-an-hour—was not good enough for the coddled union, who demanded that their current $73-an-hour contract package be paid until it expires in 2011.


In a nutshell, Detroit is being reclaimed by nature, as folks farm inside the city limits, and deer and racoons are regularly sighted. Detroit failed because of liberal policies, but the overall act of the unions blindly demanding more than the Big Three could afford in wages, medical care and pensions essentially bankrupted the city. The goose that laid the golden eggs was killed, and now Detroit, with over 80,000 empty houses, many selling for a single dollar, returns to its pre-civilized state. The unions that killed Detroit, and drove America’s auto industry into the arms of foreigners are the same leftist, Marxist-influenced unions which now threaten the rest of America’s economic vitality, as well.




When Barack Obama was still coming off the sugar high of his election, ACORN was toppled like a lightning-struck diseased oak. Everyone knows ACORN, the election registration group that also pushed affordable housing, had deep roots in leftism and unions. Obama had one of his few private sector jobs representing them during his community organizer phase. Kathleen Parker describes them:


The Association of Community Organizations for Reform Now and the Service Employees International Union are as tight as Heidi Klum and a new pair of jeans. You don’t think about one without the other. You also don’t talk about either organization without mention of Wade Rathke, co-founder of ACORN and founder of SEIU Local 100 in New Orleans. Rathke…continues to run Local 100, as well as ACORN International, recently renamed Community Organizations International.


In other words, Marxist ACORN founder Wade Rathke, who visited Obama more than any other person, still runs a criminally corrupt union organization apparently designed for voter fraud


B. Gulf Oil Spill


Barack’s mantle of prophethood started to unravel when he dithered on the Gulf oil spill. His meandering response makes more sense when his refusal to accept foreign aid because he did not want to anger American unions was made public. Writes one journalist,


The BP clean-up effort in the Gulf of Mexico is hampered by the Jones Act requiring all vessels working in U.S. waters to be American-built, and American-crewed…For Obama, politics always comes first: “The explanation of Obama’s reluctance to seek this remedy is his cozy relationship with labor unions. . . ‘The unions see it [not waiving the act] as…protecting jobs. They hate when the Jones Act gets waived.’


C. New York City Blizzard 2010


The inexplicable failure of New York City’s snow plows to clear the roads during this last epic blizzard ultimately has union roots. Writes FOX,


As New York City finishes cleaning up the mess of the recent debilitating blizzard, it also faces allegations union workers entrusted with cleaning up the mess of snow decided to stage a slowdown as the blizzard hit. The plan was to snarl the blizzard cleanup to protest budget cuts, several sources and a city lawmaker told the New York Post.


D. Wisconsin


Incoming Governor Scott Walker of Wisconsin faced a budget shortfall of hundreds of millions and looked for areas to cut. When Democrat state senators were informed there would be a vote to strip union members of certain bargaining chips in order to bring cuts in public unions, they decided to bail the state. Thousands of supporters flooded the capital to protest the Governor’s maneuver. But the only conclusion an unbiased viewer can draw is that union members believe their status is so sacred they cannot be asked to cut pay or benefits, even when the solvency of their employer is on the line.


III. Marxist Labor Strategy


A. Marx & Labor


In Karl Marx’s simplistic world, the “workers” must be protected by unions against menacing business “owners.” William Henry Chamberlin’s Blueprint For World Conquest, revealing original sources of Marxist strategy from the Communist International organization (ComIntern), discusses how the unions needed to be redirected away from the old European guild model into tools for communist takeover.


Clarence Carson, in Basic Communism, Its Rise, Spread and Debacle in the 20th Century describes how modern labor arose simultaneously with socialism. This was no coincidence, nor was the fact most prominent union leaders began as socialists, such as Debs and Gompers. And because there was much potential for communists in unions, but labor tended to distrust communists, they became an enormous target for takeover. In fact, one writer says, “The control of labor unions was, and still remains, the principle objective of Communist parties in industrial countries.”


B: Syndicalism: Coup Via Union


As was previously described in this publication, there exists a formula for using unions to mount a coup d’etat against our democratic republic—Syndicalism. This is defined by one source as, “Syndicalism is an economic philosophy that promotes the control of the economy by labor unions. ” The Catholic Encyclopedia gives this:


“Syndicalism” is associations of workingmen for furtherance of common economic interests. Three influences combined in formation of this new system: revolutionary unionism, Anarchism, and Socialism. The primary object of revolutionary Syndicalism is destruction of the existing order of society, expropriation and abolition of capital, and elimination of the entire system of wages. Its basic doctrine is the teaching of the class struggle. The State must be violently combatted even when it enacts measures beneficial to the labourer, since all reforms are deceptive unless forced by the syndicalist workers themselves. There are two divisions of mankind, employers and the employed, and anything which can foment bitterness and disagreement between these two is a triumph for the worker. All this is pure Marxian doctrine.




Now, some obvious obervations. First, no union in America is ignorant of these origins, nor are any untouched by their goals. So we must assume any disruptive union activity is meant not just to further the aims of labor, but to sow upheavel throughout society.


Just as important, we must remember Obama’s entire training as a community organizer means he was a Marxist agitator. For example, his ACORN was a community organizer union, started by close friend Andy Stern, former head of SEIU, and avowed Marxist. Don’t forget how Barack promised that every decision he made as president would first be vetted by SEIU.


Unions will be used by Obama and other socialists to remake America. We can no longer assume any innocent activity from them. They are now the enemy of the good, and no strategy can be dismissed as too extreme. Forwarned is forearmed.

Kelly O'Connell Bio

Unions and Communists march side by side in Los Angeles

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