(The Center Square) – The young U.S. senator from Kentucky on Wednesday tabled a bill that would allow private sector workers in certain industries not to join a union.
Republican US Senator Rand Paul said his bill, entitled “The National Right to Work Act,” would cover workers in industries such as airlines and railroads, who risk being made redundant if they do not pay union dues. He noted that Kentucky as well as 26 other states have passed similar laws.
Right to work laws allow workers in a union shop to choose not to pay union dues.
“It is time for the federal government to follow their example,” he said. “It’s time to put bargaining power back into the hands of American workers. ”
In a video statement, Paul cited a survey shared by the National Committee on the Right to Work indicating that more than 80% of Americans believe that workers should have the freedom to join a union but that no one should be coerced into joining a union. be part of it.
“As a condition of employment, the (US) Supreme Court has already ruled that government employees have the right to work under federal law,” Paul said. “My bill ensures that employees have private businesses, airlines (and) railways will have the same protections.”
Lawsuits have been filed in states such as New Jersey, New York and Pennsylvania for public sector employees who have resigned from their unions but whose dues have always been removed from their paychecks.
This is the fifth time since 2013 that Paul has tabled a bill on the right to work. Similar legislation was also tabled by U.S. Representative Joe Wilson in the House of Representatives on Wednesday.
“As the national economy begins to recover from the COVID-19 crisis,” National Committee for the Right to Work, Mark Mix, said in a statement. “The right to work is a simple and pro-growth policy that also enjoys overwhelming public support. ”
While Paul says his bill already has 15 cosponsors, he faces a tall order in a Democratic-led US Senate.
At the same time, Democrats introduced a bill, called the “PRO Law,” which advocates of the right to work say would undermine what legislatures in 27 states have already passed.
Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer, D-New York, said in a statement earlier this month that unions have historically proven to be the most effective way to reach the middle class.
“The PRO law helps workers organize better and bargain for fair wages and benefits – and reestablishes a certain balance in our economy, which is now largely geared towards corporate profits and special interests,” Schumer said.