On Right-To-Work Amendment: ‘Bravo for Senators from Kentucky and Mississippi … Shame on Sen. Reid’

WASHINGTON, Nov. 13 – Though their effort did not meet with success, U.S. Senators from Kentucky and Mississippi deserve thanks for their efforts to offer a right-to-work amendment, S. Amdt. 2011, said Aloysius Hogan, the new Senior Fellow at the Competitive Enterprise Institute.

“Sen. Harry Reid, D-Nev., used his prerogatives as Majority Leader to block the amendment,” Hogan said. “Astute observers will note that Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., rarely sponsors amendments and that his sponsoring of this amendment sends a message about the importance of the issue.  Original cosponsor Rand Paul, R-Ky., cosponsor Thad Cochran, R-Miss., and McConnell demonstrated they put a higher priority on job creation and favorable work environment than the majority. Forcing workers to join a union or pay union dues against their will goes against everything we do and believe as Americans.”

The amendment would have repealed sections of the National Labor Relations Act, which governs private-sector employees, and the Railway Labor Act, which governs airline and railroad workers. These sections require workers to pay union dues as a condition of employment. The senators sought to add this amendment to the Employment Non-Discrimination Act, S. 815.

Sen. Reid “filled the amendment tree” without including this proposal, so it was not considered as part of the legislation. This even though union members say, by a 2:1 margin, they do not get enough value for the dues they pay, that 92 percent of unions violate the Labor Management Reporting and Disclosure Act and that 80 percent of union members say employees should not be forced or coerced into joining a union.

“Unionized workers overwhelmingly say they find little value in union membership and would not join a union if they did not have to,” Hogan said. “Shame on Sen. Reid for not allowing the Senate to vote on this positive right-to-work amendment.”