The National Federation of Independent Business (NFIB) is joining with the National Right to Work Foundation in urging a West Virginia court to reject organized labor’s attempt to overturn groundbreaking legislation guaranteeing West Virginians the right to work—regardless of whether they choose to join a union. NFIB is the nation’s leading small-business association in West Virginia and nationally.
“Organized labor seems to think that right-to-work is anti-union, but that’s not true,” said Karen Harned, executive director of the NFIB Small Business Legal Center, based in Washington, D.C. “It’s pro-worker.
“If you want to join a union, you’re free to join a union,” Harned said. “What right-to-work means is that you don’t have to join a union to get a job and support your family. And that’s only fair because your job shouldn’t be made contingent on associating with a union that you may not agree with.”
In the case of West Virginia AFL-CIO v. Tomblin, organized labor argues that West Virginia’s right-to-work law essentially allows the state to take union property by depriving them of union dues.
“That is simply absurd,” Harned said “By their logic, government would have to cut a check to small business owners every time they implemented regulations that cut into profit margins. So its untenable for the unions to claim that they have an entitlement to a constant stream of revenue from employees who may not wish to support the union. To be sure, unions aren’t entitled to a dime of workers’ paychecks unless the workers choose to join the union.”
“The unions have challenged right-to-work laws on constitutional grounds in at least 25 other states, and they’ve lost every single time,” Harned said. “Workers do have a constitutional right to join a union, but they also have a fundamental right to not join. And we believe the West Virginia courts will agree.”