No One is Taking Away the Right to Work!

Date: August 11, 2016

NFIB has been a major proponent of right to work initiatives because small business owners want to hire and retain top talent—including employees who may object to being forced into a union. And the good news is that more and more states are allowing employees the freedom to decide for themselves. But the unions are fighting back with all they can muster. 

For example, in conjunction with the National Right to Work Foundation, we helped secure a win in the Indiana Supreme Court—upholding Indiana’s Right to Work law against a vigorous assault. In that case the unions made wild and untenable arguments that Indiana was somehow forcing unions into “involuntary servitude” by allowing employees a right to choose whether to join a union. That was a crackpot argument, and the Indiana Supreme Court rightly rejected it—just as every other court has rejected every other constitutional challenge to right to work laws. 

And now the unions are—not surprisingly—advancing new crackpot theories in challenge to Wisconsin’s Right to Work law. This time they allege that, the State of Wisconsin has unconstitutionally taken private property from the union’s in violation of the Fifth Amendment. The argument doesn’t even make sense because the unions cannot claim an entitlement to a constant stream of revenue from employees who may not want to support the union.  

For that matter, it’s somewhat ironic that the unions are suddenly invoking the Takings Clause as a sword against freedom. To be sure, the Takings Clause was intended to protect individual freedom by conditioning the government’s power to appropriate private property on a requirement to pay fair market value for what is taken. The whole point is to protect private property rights—which is precisely what right to work laws do. They prohibit unions from coercing employees into paying money that they don’t want to pay. There is nothing unconstitutional about protecting the employee’s the freedom to choose.  

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