As Big Labor loses blue-collar strongholds in the North and unions need to find more dues-paying members elsewhere, organizations such as the United Auto Workers and the Service Employees International Union are actively targeting the South.
Having worked my way up since age 13, I trust employees to make good decisions for themselves. But they need some protections currently denied.
Consider: Union threats and violence against anti-union workers are not federal crimes. Employees have no right to opt out of having their personal information given to unions. Employees can be asked to publicly “card check” for the union, a practice that leaves them open to intimidation.
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U.S law actually makes it safer and easier to join a union than not to join one. America’s labor laws haven’t changed since the 1940s. The same old laws cannot meet today’s needs. For example, once a union is granted certification, the law assumes it should stay in that workplace forever; therefore, new employees don’t get a vote, so fewer than 10 percent of unionized employees voted for their own union. Is this representation? How can union leaders be held accountable?
Unless the law changes, employees in South Carolina may soon be subject to union organizers’ strong-arm tactics. Once they join, they will find there is almost no way out.
The Employee Rights Act would give workers the power and processes to make independent decisions. It would not make it more difficult to join a union, but it would protect employees who prefer not to join. It also would let employees vote on whether an existing union serves their interests.
Additionally, threats and violence by union organizers would become federal crimes. Employees would be guaranteed secret ballots and a right to privacy.
South Carolina felt safe from the problems of Big Labor. Today, we must speak out for employees and encourage Congress to pass this legislation.