At long last, all across the country, labor unions are losing their decades old fight against “right to work” laws as American workers are increasingly choosing to say goodbye to union’s bullying tactics by voting them down in the workplace, placing anti-union (Republican) legislators into office, or both. With several major defeats already on the books this year, yesterday marked yet another watershed moment in the de-evolution of organized labor with many more such days sure to come.
Bloomberg offers the following commentary regarding the current state of unionized labor:
Last year the total share of U.S. workers who belong to a union fell to 10.7 percent, a record low. That number could go a lot lower in the next few years. Following decades of declining membership, unions face an existential crisis as right to work laws being pushed at state and federal levels would ban their ability to collect mandatory fees from the workers they represent, a key source of revenue for organized labor.
Once largely confined to the conservative South, right to work is encroaching on unions’ longtime strongholds in the North and Midwest and, pending a U.S. Supreme Court ruling, could soon cover a majority of the unionized workforce in the U.S. Following a 47-year lull, six states in five years have passed right to work laws. “The South is clearly winning this particular civil war,” says University of California at Santa Barbara historian Nelson Lichtenstein.
Earlier this year, Kentucky became the 27th right to work state, and Missouri the 28th, when their new Republican governors signed bills into law that ban mandatory union fees for the state’s workers. The Supreme Court could be the next body to ban such preposterous, freedom-robbing union arrangements.
Yesterday, workers at Boeing’s newest plant in North Charleston, South Carolina weren’t willing to wait for legislative action and took matters into their own hands. The International Association of Machinists and Aerospace Workers (IAM), the Boeing plant’s would-be union, had been working hard at trying to influence management and employees to vote to unionize at the sparkling new facility. Yesterday they got their heads handed to them.
The National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) provided oversight to the vote by setting up and supervising polling locations throughout the North Charleston plant. This was a first for Boeing and a very high-profile contest for IAM and all of organized labor. In the end nearly three-quarters of the plants eligible voters said “No way, get out!” to the IAM.
From CNN Money:
According to a company statement, more than 2,000 of the nearly 3,000 Boeing workers at the plant eligible to vote in the closely watched election voted against the union, and only a bit more than 700 members voted yes.
The NLRB said 74 percent of the 2,828 workers who cast ballots voted against joining the union. That is, by any standard of measure, a thorough, a complete and total beatdown.
In a statement released after the ballot box blood-letting, IAM lead organizer Mike Evans said, “We’re disappointed the workers at Boeing South Carolina will not yet have the opportunity to see all the benefits that come with union representation.”
Labor union’s old, iron-fisted grip America’s workers is over. The days of forcing people to pay dues into a union which in turn uses that money to pay bloated salaries of union bosses and to support candidates for political office whether the worker paying for the contributions supports that person or not, are coming to an end.
Like the Democrat Party itself, America’s labor unions are yet another victim of the Obama presidency. With so much control and power handed over to Republicans (over 1,000 legislative seats flipped and now just 16 Democrat governors left, the least since the 1800’s) labor unions have few friendly Dem faces left to stand and fight for them.
Dems and union bosses, you asked for Obama. Twice. And you got him. Now you have to live with the results and the results are — your own demise. Proving the adage that in life we should be careful what we ask for, we just might get it.
During President Trump’s visit to Boeing today — just one day after the union vote — he said, according to the Washington Post:
““We’re here today to celebrate American engineering and American manufacturing,” Trump said. “We’re also here today to celebrate jobs. Jobs!”
“Jobs is one of the primary reasons I’m standing here as president, and I will never ever disappoint you. Believe me,” he added.
Given the sound rejection of unionization by Boeing employees yesterday, it seems like they agree!
[Note: This article was written by Derrick Wilburn]