published : 2023-09-05

Look for the union label attached to Biden, it’s making life hard for workers this Labor Day

Biden is the 'most pro-union president in American history,' he's just not pro-worker

A group of workers holding signs that say 'Workers' Rights' on Labor Day, taken with a Nikon D850.

Most Americans realize that Labor Day is about celebrating workers, not union bosses. But that won’t stop Big Labor’s apologists from stealing the spotlight to demand more power.

Today’s unions are built on the government-granted privilege of compulsion. In the 23 states without Right to Work laws, employees can be fired for refusing to pay union dues or fees – even if they don’t want the union and never asked for it. Those workers and millions more have no choice but to accept union control over their wages and working conditions.

Union officials routinely funnel workers’ dues into political campaigns aimed at defending or expanding their already extensive special privileges. These privileges are frequently at odds with the rights and freedoms of the very rank-and-file workers union bosses purport to 'represent.'

Unsurprisingly, President Joe Biden – who campaigned on being 'the most pro-union president in American history' – is more than willing to undermine the rights of individual workers as he seeks to advance union boss power.

Biden regularly touts his support for union bosses’ top legislative priority – the so-called 'PRO Act' – which has as its signature provision the repeal of all 27 state Right to Work laws in the country by federal fiat.

Polls regularly show that workers support the choice they have under Right to Work laws. Right to Work doesn’t stop a single worker from joining or paying dues to a union if they voluntarily choose to, but merely ensures union financial support is voluntary.

Joe Biden addressing a crowd of union members during a labor rally, taken with a Canon EOS R5.

Yet, Biden and the union bosses would strip millions more workers across the country of the ability to decide for themselves whether union officials deserve part of their hard-earned paycheck.

Another striking example of the Biden administration and Big Labor working together to counter the rights of rank-and-file workers is their push to shut down union decertification votes. Under current law, workers can petition for votes to remove a union’s so-called 'representation' that they don’t want.

Union decertification should be simple: When 30% or more of the workers in a bargaining unit sign a petition at the proper time, the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) should promptly schedule a secret ballot election. If a majority of the votes are against the union, then union officials lose their power to impose their monopoly 'representation' on all workers.

Sounds simple enough. But in reality, NLRB-created obstacles to getting such a vote often mean months or more of litigation just to hold such votes.

Even worse, the Biden NLRB is in the process of making decertification votes even harder for workers to obtain. In rulemaking that could be finalized any day now, the Biden administration is seeking to give union officials the ability to unilaterally block decertification votes with 'blocking charges' – unproven allegations against employers used as a pretense for halting workers’ request for a vote.

These 'blocking charges,' combined with other NLRB policies barring decertification votes for years at a time, can indefinitely trap workers in union ranks most of them oppose. In one case, such tactics were used to block decertification even though 100% of the workers signed the decertification petition.

An aerial view of workers peacefully protesting for their right to choose union membership, taken with a Sony A7R IV.

Union bosses may like the security of knowing that, no matter what they do, they cannot be removed by those they claim to 'represent.' But no one could claim with a straight face that trapping workers in unions they oppose is actually pro-worker.

Voluntary organizations – such as charities, churches and civic associations – are quintessentially American. But Big Labor has strayed from its traditions of voluntarism. Instead of persuading workers to join up and pay dues of their own free will, union bosses increasingly rely on coercion to protect their privileged position.

So, this Labor Day, don’t buy into the union propaganda that pro-union boss is pro-worker. Truly being pro-worker must include respecting workers’ right to choose to reject union membership and union dues.

After all, it’s Labor Day, not Union Day.