BY COLE STANGLER TUESDAY, FEBRUARY 21, 2017
Just about every congressional session, Republicans unveil what’s known as a “right to work” bill. Under the guise of liberating workers, these measures make it harder for unions to collect dues, limiting their power on the job and in the political arena. Championed by business lobbyists and loathed by organized labor, the federal version, which covers the private sector, is typically seen as pie-in-the-sky legislation not worth getting too riled up about on either side.
But the latest iteration — introduced by Congressmen Joe Wilson (R-SC) and Steve King (R-IA) earlier this month — is triggering an emphatically different reaction within union ranks.
“I can’t remember a time when it was this serious of an attack,” labor lobbyist Ken Zinn told the Voice. Zinn has worked in Washington for over three decades and is currently political director for National Nurses United, a labor union that represents approximately 185,000 registered nurses across the country. “It’s certainly something we and everyone else should be extremely worried about.”
A national right-to-work law — versions of which are already on the books in 28 different states — would eliminate “union security” clauses, a standard part of labor contracts, that require workers to pay fees to labor organizations that bargain on their behalf. When in place, they solidify a key source of revenue for unions. Right-to-work strangles that revenue.
By Meg Kinnard - February 16, 2017
COLUMBIA, S.C. — Boeing workers’ overwhelming anti-union vote at the aviation giant’s 787 Dreamliner plant in South Carolina is a big victory for Southern politicians and business leaders who have lured manufacturing jobs to the region on the promise of keeping unions out.
It’s also a win for the company that will host President Donald Trump at its North Charleston facilities on Friday.
Nearly 3,000 workers were eligible to vote Wednesday on representation by the International Association of Machinists and Aerospace workers. According to Boeing, nearly 74 percent of the more than 2,800 votes cast were against representation.