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DeMint to Offer Amendments to Protect American Workers

Press Release

Location: Washington, DC

DeMint to Offer Amendments to Protect American Workers

Amendments would protect secret ballot elections, guarantee right to work

Today, U.S. Senator Jim DeMint (R-South Carolina) announced that as part of the debate on the monopoly bargaining bill this week, he will offer two amendments to protect American workers from union abuses. Senator DeMint will seek to protect workers right to work without being forced to pay union dues and to protect workers' right to a secret ballot union election.

"While American families are facing an uncertain economy, Democrats are shamefully pushing another job-killing bill to help line the pockets of organized labor," said Senator DeMint. "Let's be honest: this bill is a political pay-off to big labor bosses, whose political support is needed to keep Democrats in charge of Congress. We should be protecting workers' rights, not taking them away."

An analysis of union membership by the U.S. Census Bureau reveals that union membership has been rapidly declining, falling from 20 percent of American workers in 1983 to just 12 percent in 2006. The most recent study by U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics confirms that unions are becoming reliant on federal, state and local government employees for membership: "The union membership rate for public sector workers (35.9 percent) was substantially higher than for private industry workers (7.5 percent). Within the public sector, local government workers had the highest union membership rate, 41.8 percent. This group includes many workers in several heavily unionized occupations, such as teachers, police officers, and fire fighters."

"Organized labor is rapidly losing membership because the free market is helping workers more than unions. Realizing they can't compete in a free market, organized labor is desperately trying to force more public workers to unionize."

"Americans must have the freedom to work without being forced into paying dues to a union and they must have the freedom to vote by secret ballot in union elections. The right to work and the right to a secret ballot election are fundamental American freedoms that must not be trampled on."

* Right to Work: make it unlawful in any state to force public safety or private sector workers to pay fees to a labor union as a condition of employment. No American should be forced to pay tribute to a union in order to get or keep a job.

* Secret Ballot Protection: make it unlawful to certify a union as the representative for a group of employees without a secret ballot election. No American should be forced to choose their representatives under pressure or coercion from a union or their employer.

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