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Public Statements

End Forced Union Dues in America

Floor Speech

By:
Date:
Location: Washington, DC

Mr. KING of Iowa. Mr. Speaker, I'm here today to ask my colleagues to join me in supporting an end to forced union dues in America. I'm talking about the National Right to Work Act, which I recently reintroduced here in the 113th Congress as H.R. 946.

Every American should have the power to negotiate with their employer about the terms of their employment, but no American should be forced to pay union dues just to get or keep a job. However, when Congress enacted the National Labor Relations Act in 1935, it established monopoly bargaining, and that monopoly bargaining conscripts workers who want nothing to do with the union into paying union dues. That doesn't sound like the America that I know.

In 1947, Congress admitted this provision violated the rights of workers; but because the votes weren't there to fully repeal this provision, they opted instead to allow the States to opt out of the NLRA's monopoly bargaining statute. That was a provision that the States, though, had to pass laws to exempt themselves.

To date, 24 States have enacted these right-to-work laws; and because of that, they have been able to mitigate the negative effects of our misguided Federal labor law on their citizens and their economy. Iowa is one of those States.

But the fact remains that Congress created this problem in the first place by making forced unionization the default position for all States. Since Congress created this problem, it is Congress' responsibility to correct it. The National Right to Work Act does so without adding a single new word to the Federal Code by simply erasing the forced-dues clauses in the Federal statute.

While the votes weren't there to repeal this provision in 1947, they should be there today because we now have decades of data to compare forced-dues States and workplace-freedom States. The results of this nationwide experiment suggest that the National Right to Work Act would create a huge boost in our economy; and, therefore, I urge Congress to take up the National Right to Work Act.


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