On Wednesday, despite its own ongoing labor problems, Bernie Sanders’ campaign released his plan—under the guise of “workplace democracy”—to increase union membership in the United States.
While the overall plan contains nothing new when compared to what the aging socialist has proposed in years past—nor is it substantially different than the so-called PRO Act that other Democrat candidates have already signed onto—its individual components bears some scrutiny.
- Elimination of Secret-Ballot Elections to unionize;
- Government to force union contracts on newly unionized companies and their employees;
- Elimination of ALL ‘Right-to-Work’ states, forcing all unionized employees to pay union fees or be fired;
- Classify independent contractors and supervisors as “employees” for the purpose of unionization and other workplace entitlements;
- Allow unions to unionize franchisors and franchisees as a single employer;
- Give federal government workers the ability to strike;
- Put state labor relations under federal control;
- Force companies that acquire or merge with another company to accept the prior employer’s union contract;
- “Blacklisting” employers from any federal contracts if they engage in practices the Sanders Administration deems to be anti-union or anti-worker;
- Ban hiring new (permanent) employees to replace striking workers during economic strikes;
- Create Wage Boards to “set wages, benefits and hours across entire industries, not just employer-by-employer”;
- Allow unions in labor disputes to target an employer’s customers and suppliers (called a “secondary boycott”);
- Give unions ‘equal time’ by requiring companies to disclose anti-union information they disseminate to workers and provide for equal time for organizing agents
- Enact “Medicare for All,” then require companies with union health plans to “enter into new contract negotiations overseen by the National Labor Relations Board….all company savings that result from reduced health care contributions from Medicare for All will accrue equitably to workers in the form of increased wages or other benefits.”
- Under Sanders’ Medicare for All plan, “the plan will ensure that union-sponsored clinics and other providers are integrated within the Medicare for All system, and kept available for members.”
While any one of these points, if enacted, would drastically alter the labor relations landscape and be potential job killers, several of them purely pro-union and anti-worker.
As unions are not legally required to tell workers the truth during union organizing campaigns, allowing unions to unionize without secret-ballot elections is designed to trap workers into unions with no recourse.
To further trap workers into unions, by giving the federal government the ability to force companies and their employees into union contracts dictate wages and benefits for employees destroys any semblance of freedom to negotiation, as well as workers’ right to strike.
Then, once those two are wrapped into a neat little package, by eliminating Right-to-Work laws in all 50 states, unions will be able to force workers in all 50 states to pay union fees or be fired from their jobs.
To be clear, Sanders’ plan is not new, nor is it unique.
Earlier this year, Democrats introduced the “Protecting the Right to Organize Act” (or PRO Act), which is nearly identical to the Sanders plan—except Sanders’ Democrat opponents can avoid signing onto his plan by pledging support for the PRO Act as several have.
“Truth isn’t mean. It’s truth.”
Andrew Breitbart (1968-2012)
Cross-posted from LaborUnionReport.com