What a back-porch light is to moths, compulsory unionism is to con artists and Mafia bosses, acc. to a new monograph prepared for the Natl. Institute for Labor Relations Research (NILRR) by veteran journalist Carl Horowitz. In the monograph, entitled Union Corruption in America: Still a Growth Industry, Horowitz writes that union crooks, although similar in many regards to other crooks, are unique in that “for decades [they] have had an unwitting assist from government.”
Under the 1935 Natl. Labor Relations Act, he explains, private-sector unions “reserve the right of exclusive representation in all 50 states. That is, once a union is reckoned by a national labor agency to have the support of a majority of employees in a federally delineated ‘bargaining unit,’ the union speaks for all covered workers, regardless of their personal desires. If a group of workers perceive their union to be corrupt, they cannot invite in or organize a rival union.”
Even more egregious is Big Labor’s privilege “to exact dues from workers, regardless of their willingness to pay, except in states with a Right to Work law.” Forced union dues artificially enlarge union treasuries, and thus “increase the temptation for union officials and staffers to steal from the very people they claim to represent,” Horowitz charges.
As the chief instigator of the problem of compulsory unionism and its attendant corruption, the fed. govt. has the responsibility to offer more than cosmetic remedies. Towards that end, Horowitz recommends passage of the Natl. Right to Work Act (H.R. 391/ S. 1765), sponsored by Con. Joe Wilson (R-S.C.) and Sens. Trent Lott (R-Miss.) and Jeff Sessions (R-Ala.). According to Horowitz, this legislation would subject corrupt union officials to market discipline by empowering union members in all 50 states to resign in protest and cease paying dues or “fees” as soon as they detect any impropriety. The monograph can be read on NILRR’s web site, www.nilrr.org.