FreedomWorks’ Bill of the Month for May 2021: National Right to Work Act, S. 406 and H.R. 1275

FreedomWorks is excited to announce that our bill of the month for May 2021 is the National Right-to-Work Act, S. 406 and H.R. 1275. Introduced by Sen. Rand Paul (R-Ky.) and Rep. Joe Wilson (R-S.C.), the bill would protect individual workers who choose to join or refrain from joining labor unions.

The Big Picture

Rather than grow government, the National Right-to-Work Act removes harmful federal laws already on the books. This bill would repeal six statutory provisions which allow for the termination of private-sector, railroad, and airline workers if they don’t surrender part of their paycheck to a union.

The Details

  • 27 states have enacted right-to-work laws. These measures range from eliminating coerced union membership to combatting so-called “fair share” laws, which require nonmembers to pay fees to labor unions.
  • The United States Supreme Court’s landmark decision Janus v. AFSCME (2018) found that public-sector unions forcing nonmembers to contribute through “fair-share” laws violates employees’ First Amendment rights to freedom of speech.

The National Right-to-Work Act takes the First Amendment rights that the Supreme Court held public-sector employees enjoy and extends them to the private sector.

Why It Matters

With victories in state legislatures across the country and the Supreme Court, the right-to-work movement is gaining steam when it comes to protecting workers. There are, however, profound threats to the hard-fought victories of the right-to-work movement.

Democrats in Washington have taken it upon themselves to strip freedom of choice away from employees with H.R. 842, the Protecting the Right to Organize (PRO) Act. This disastrous bill undermines the First Amendment, federalism, and economic growth.

If made law, the PRO Act would:

  • Federally coerce all private-sector employees to pay union fees
  • Undermine the laws of 27 right-to-work states
  • Impose the same worker classification system that wreaked havoc on the gig economy in California
  • Require employers to share the personal information of their employees with labor unions

Whereas the National Right-to-Work Act removes existing federal statutes to promote freedom, the PRO Act uses Washington’s power to override the will of the states and restrict individual freedom of choice.

With labor union forces on the move in Washington, our elected officials must stand for pro-freedom legislation such as the National Right-to-Work Act. Currently, the National Right-to-Work Act has 17 cosponsors in the Senate and 83 cosponsors in the House.

Hopefully, more members will realize the importance of an employee’s right to choose whether or not to join a union and support this common-sense legislation.