In an age of government overreach and mass regulation, individual freedom is often forgotten. I have been one to continually fight for liberty and freedom for all, especially that of American workers.
For far too long, Big Labor has controlled the rules, regulations, and paychecks of public and private-sector employees.
In 2018, the Supreme Court ruled that the First Amendment protects the right to work for government employees. Yet, under current federal law, millions of private-sector employees are still at risk of losing their jobs if they do not join a union or pay union fees.
Hold on, shouldn’t the same protections extended to employees of the government also be extended to private-sector employees?
The answer is yes.
The National Right to Work Act repeals six statutory provisions that allow private-sector workers, and airline and railroad employees, to be fired if they do not surrender part of their paycheck to a union.
This legislation has overwhelming support across the country, with 27 states including my home state of Kentucky already passing right to work laws.
Right to work states as a whole have consistently experienced growth in jobs and personal income. Over a ten-year period, the Department of Labor’s Bureau of Labor Statics and the Department of Commerce’s Bureau of Economic Analysis saw 8.8 percent job growth in right to work states compared to 4.2 percent in non-right to work states.
Many large manufacturers and tech companies have since moved to states with less regulation and less union control. Boeing is among those set to move the rest of its production from Washington state to South Carolina in 2021 because of decades old union laws.
Business relocation firms have reported that approximately half of all businesses will immediately rule out any state without Right to Work protections when seeking to relocate or expand.
This legislation benefits the whole country. It draws business back to the United States and brings collective bargaining power back to employees.
Unionized workers see the need for reform. Many workers believe they do not get enough value for the dues they are forced to pay.
Among private-sector union members, 91 percent think there is too much secrecy about how their dues are spent; 79 percent think membership should be voluntary; 64 percent disapprove of the union spending their dues on political activities without their consent; and 63 percent would vote out their union bosses for spending dues money on political ads if they could have a secret ballot.
Worker freedom is the core of right to work, but it also hails significant economic benefit to the economy. It empowers employees to decide on their terms whether they prefer to spend their money on joining a union, or if they prefer to take that money home.
It is by far time the federal government follows the lead of right to work states, and put bargaining power back where it belongs, in the hands of American workers.
Paul is the junior senator from Kentucky.