Unions

National “Right to Work” is Probably Coming

JM Ashby
Written by JM Ashby

Iowa congressman and secret border control agent Steve King along with Joe "You Lie" Wilson introduced a national "right to work" bill this morning and there's probably no stopping it or similar legislation from becoming law in the near future.

On Wednesday, Republican Reps. Steve King (IA) and Joe Wilson (SC) re-introduced a so-called “right-to-work” bill that would significantly hamper unions across the country and likely lower wages for all Americans.

Republicans have proposed this kind of legislation before; King introduced a similar bill almost exactly a year ago. But now they may feel emboldened by having an ally in the White House. On the campaign trail, President Trump said he is “100 percent” in favor of right-to-work laws.

Republicans have sought the opportunity to squash unions nationwide for a long time, and now that they control both chambers of Congress and the White House they'll finally have an opportunity to do it.

It probably won't earn me any new friends on the left, but I believe some of the nation's biggest unions are partially responsible for this because I believe they're partially responsible for the election of Donald Trump.

First, the obvious. Union households voted for the Republican candidate in the highest numbers since 1984. Hillary Clinton won the union vote by just 8 percent, while President Obama won the union vote by 18 percent in 2012.

Why is that?

Sure, Trump did his part by making wild claims about our international trade partners and misleading people about the true sources of their so-called "economic anxiety," but so did some of the biggest labor unions in the country and many other voices on the left.

Labor union spokespersons and leadership and the likes of Bernie Sanders painted Democrats and Hillary Clinton as enemies who've sold working Americans out. Sanders even attacked Democrats for supporting the Export-Import Bank which finances American-made exports. And Sanders won the Michigan primary, in part, because he told Democratic voters that Hillary Clinton was responsible for the ruin of Detroit. We can only assume that animus carried over into the general election.

Some of the most critical parties including Sanders would eventually endorse Hillary Clinton before the 2016 election, but the damage had already been done. You can't so easily erase a year's worth of toxic talking points you drilled into people's heads about matters of trust and trade.

Hillary Clinton was blamed for a lot of things that she had virtually nothing to do with, and some factions of organized labor and its alleged champions did their part to blame her. They helped elect Trump.

People of color will soon make up a majority of the "working class" in America, if they don't already, and it's an open question to me if labor unions who would waste valuable time and energy on the vanity of opposing international trade are actually serving the needs of the new working class in the 21st century. It may be time for a new movement and new leadership. It may be way past time.

  • Michael Howell

    Unions have not done anything useful for the workers or the nation in at least 50 years. Modern labor unions are little more than funding centers and spokespersons for socialist government policies.

    Right to work laws are good for everyone because they make it illegal for you to be compelled to join a union in order to be employed. The only people that don’t want this are the people being paid by the union dues that they are extorting from workers or the people that are misinformed about what Right to work is.

  • muselet

    The unions could have done a better job of warning their members about Donald Trump, sure. The same could be said for warning members about Scott Walker. And John Kasich.

    And yes, some unions are run incompetently or for the sole benefit of the leadership.

    That doesn’t explain why people willingly vote to immiserate themselves.

    The problem as I see it is that the old guys are dying off, the ones who saw things dramatically improve because of unions. Two generations on, the blood shed and the lessons learned are just boring stories. This is what’s causing the world’s current flirtation with authoritarianism, too: not enough old guys are left who saw what that really leads to (and to dope-slap some sense into the young’uns).

    A return to Lochner-era America will not go well for anyone, including the top 0.1%, but like stubborn (and slightly stupid) toddlers, some among us will have to test to see if that stove really is hot.

    –alopecia

  • Aynwrong

    I feel terrible about this but if you’re in a union and you voted for this it’s what you deserve. The GOP is devoted to turning America into a feudal state and reducing the vast majority of it’s citizens to serfs. This has been painfully obvious for decades and Democrats voting for trade bills doesn’t alter or alleviate this fact even a little bit.

    • Scopedog

      Yep. I hate to say this, but…they brought this upon themselves. Just look at the states that have gotten these right to work bills passed–the union folks there voted for the Republicans who quickly turned right around and skull-fucked them

      Unions have had over thirty years to realize that the GOP does not give a flying fuck about them. Now they are finding out the hard way, and at the same time, they pushed aside the only people who could stop it.

      That’s been a hard truth learned in 2016–the far Left and the far Right suckered enough people into voting against their own interests, which works perfectly for the GOP. The results were never good, and it’s going to get even worse.

    • ninjaf

      I know of more than one UAW members who voted for Trump. I can’t believe how stupid they were to do it. But, you know, #benghazi and #emails. So, why not give this guy a try? Never mind that their asses would be out of an industry just 8 short years ago were it not for the Democrats. But whatevs.