After taking control of the legislature and the governor’s mansion in Virginia for the first time in decades, the state’s Democrats are eager to undo all that has been done by Republicans during that time. Democrats’ first target is gun control, but soon they could be coming for the employee freedoms protected by Virginia’s right to work law.
According to the National Right to Work Legal Defense Foundation, Virginia’s right to work laws were enacted in 1947, with major updates in 1954, and 1970. Now Democrats want to repeal the law that, as The Wall Street Journal reports, “made Northern Virginia more attractive to businesses compared to Maryland’s Washington, D.C., suburbs.”
The Journal continues:
Northern Virginia last year accounted for 70% of new jobs in the D.C. metro area. Only 4% of Virginia workers belong to unions compared to 11.3% in Maryland. The share of construction workers who are unionized is five times higher in Maryland than Virginia.
Progressives elected in last year’s statehouse sweep now hope to reward their labor supporters. Senate Majority Leader Richard Saslaw is driving legislation that would allow unions to require non-members to pay “fair share fees” to defray their costs for collective bargaining, organization and other “representation” activities.
The Supreme Court’s Janus decision (2018) forbids governments from requiring public workers to pay such union fees but said nothing about private workers. Under the Virginia bill, workers could be required to subsidize unions regardless of whether they join. This would repeal right-to-work in all but name.
Playing coy, Gov. Ralph Northam recently told a group of businesses that “I don’t want to do anything that would threaten our AAA bond rating or our status as the number one state for businesses . . . such as repealing [Virginia’s] right-to-work law.” Don’t expect a veto.
Meantime, Democrats in the U.S. House are moving legislation to prohibit right-to-work laws nationwide. Liberals can’t abide laws in prosperous and growing states that make Illinois and New York look bad.
The Janus ruling is a necessary protection for governments. Unions shouldn’t be allowed to use government power to enrich themselves.
There’s nothing inherently wrong with private-sector unions, but those unions shouldn’t be given the ability to extort money from employees who don’t want to join.
Despite the clear infringement on the rights of employees, Democrats seem hell-bent on rewarding their union donors with the freedom to demand payment for services no one asked for.
E.J. Smith - Your Survival Guy
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