Georgia Voices: Pro-Choice? Joining a union should be a voluntary decision
by The Augusta Chronicle
December 18, 2012 12:00 AM | 2194 views | 3 3 comments | 10 10 recommendations | email to a friend | print
Democrats are pro-choice, all right — but only when it comes to abortion.

Columnist Charles Krauthammer correctly notes that when it comes to where to send your children for their education, or whether to join or pay dues to unions, they’re definitely not pro-choice.

This odd anti-freedom position is on full and ugly display in Michigan, where union mobs have destroyed property and assaulted people in bitter opposition to some pro-freedom legislation in that state.

A Democratic lawmaker there predicted “there will be blood” over the law. President Barack Obama interrupted “fiscal cliff” negotiations to go and campaign against the state law. And Teamsters President Jimmy Hoffa predicted a “civil war” over the matter.

Don’t be fooled by the ridiculous over-the-top rhetoric or the climate of hatred being created by union supporters. Know the facts.

The commonsense legislation in question, now signed by the governor, essentially does two things: 1) it gives workers the right to refuse to join a union and 2) ends a requirement that non-union workers pay union dues.

That’s it. That’s what the “civil war” is about.

As another observer noted, “The law imposes no limitation on unions’ ability to organize, to engage in collective bargaining, or to strike. It merely forbids them to take money out of the pockets of workers who do not wish to join them.”

Of course, a reasonable person doesn’t need financial incentives to see the wisdom in those two changes. But there can be no doubt that they will increase the likelihood of businesses locating in Michigan. That’s been the experience in Indiana and a growing number of other so-called “right to work” states.

Statistics also show that unemployment is lower in such states — 6.9 percent vs. 8.7 percent.

But the most important facet of this battle is that it’s about freedom.

And union power.

Union bosses know that if workers have a choice of whether to join or pay dues, they may not. They don’t want workers to have that freedom. They even want the government to sanction the taking of non-union workers’ dues.

What other organization in this country has the right to take your money whether you join it or not?

It’s too bad the news networks and even the president of the United States are whipping up this frenzy. They have succeeded in creating a climate of fear and loathing that has resulted in the destruction of property and the assault of a Fox News contributor, who was punched in the face by a union thug.

A few years ago, when they wrongly jumped to the conclusion that a conservative was to blame for the shooting of Congresswoman Gabby Giffords, Democrats on up to the president appealed for civility and a change in the public dialogue. Now look at them. Shameful.

In the glory days of the country’s union movement, organizers were fighting for worker freedom and working conditions. It was a noble movement. Today, the state and federal governments oversee most aspects of worker safety and conditions. And union officials are fighting against worker freedoms.

And they’re doing it violently, and with rhetoric that incites hatred and violence.

If unions are the answer, workers will join them and happily pay dues. But they should not be forced to, in either case.

Here’s the nut of it, though: As Washington Post columnist Ruth Marcus said this week, “Unions aren’t going to survive when people have a choice ...”

Where are all the pro-choice people now?
Comments-icon Post a Comment
Hugh Jass
December 19, 2012
Unions need to prove their worth by their actions, not by holding a gun to the heads of workers. There is no reason why someone should be forced to pay for corrupt labor leaders making hunders of thousands of dollars in salary and benefits. Now Washington needs to do the same thing for the government unions that they have allowed to ruin our system.
December 18, 2012
Many moons ago, I joined the CWA as an employee of Western Electric. There was no heavy handedness forcing me. The only thing I was forced to do was to sit for ten minutes with a union representative and listen to his spiel.

I joined. I thought the union was helpful to their members. About a year later, here was an opening in a department that I had been trained for in the Navy. The union told me that I could not get the job because it would be awarded on the basis of seniority, not experience.

A year after that, thanks to the growth of technology, a job opened in what was known at the time as Computer Technology, later to be known as Information Technology. I got the job and was at it for over 40 years.

I was never threatened or forced to join a union, but unionization did impact me. I prefer to work in a meritocratic work environment where people can rise on their skills.

I have no resentment either. I just believe that employers should be able to have open shops and people should be able to make choices based on their skills and abilities.
Ciotizen Sane
December 18, 2012
The last sentence of this article features a deliberate partial quote which completely mischaracterizes the intent of the original quote and brands the Augusta Chronicle (and the Marietta Daily Journal)as dishonest and a bad source of non-biased, reliable opinion.

Ruth Marcus' quote was: "Unions are reeling, and the more states that enact measures like this, the more unions will be reeling....unions aren't going to survive when people have a choice of whether to ante up the dues or to get the benefit of being free-riders."

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