While most of the country focused on President Trump’s use of emergency powers to build a wall on the Southern Border of the United States, Senator Rand Paul (R-KY), introduced a bill on the Senate floor calling for a national right-to-work law, S. 525. The legislation is cosponsored by 16 Senate Republicans and aims to repeal five provisions from the National Labor Relations Act and one in the Railway Labor Act to prohibit the collection of union dues.
“This is yet another attempt by corporate backed politicians to tilt the balance of power to corporations and away from workers,” said Dan Wasser, President, Printing, Publishing and Media Workers Sector-CWA.
This isn’t the first time Paul has introduced a National Right to Work bill. In 2017, he introduced the same legislation, backed by the National Right to Work Foundation. At that time, the publication, In These Times, wrote an article, “GOP’s national right to work bill is a smokescreen: The threat is what comes next.” In that article, author Moshie Marvit explained that the real strategy behind the introduction of bills like S. 525 isn’t to pass this legislation at a national level but instead “bring increased attention to the issue on the state level.”
The author’s theory is backed by the National Right to Work Committee’s own statement issued after Paul introduced his legislation, which states: “The bill introduced by Senator Paul is part of a two-pronged strategy which consists of building support in Washington for the National Right to Work Act, while at the same time mobilizing opponents of forced unionism to pass their own state Right to Work laws.”
The National Right to Work Committee has been pushing state legislation hard. Despite a recent loss in Missouri when voters overwhelmingly rejected right to work in a ballot referendum, Republican state legislators have again hatched a plan to pass right-to-work, this time by inserting an amendment into the state’s Constitution. Todd Graves, the former chairman of the Missouri GOP, asked a Republican party official to file a right-to-work petition that would add the issue to the ballot again in 2020.