Forced fees not good for workers

Published 10:32 am Tuesday, March 20, 2012


During the U.S. Civil War my great-grandfather was a wise cavalry sergeant, and the U.S. president issued the Emancipation Proclamation. If a plantation overseer had a group they might have told plantation staff: “Old Abe wants to take away your free health care, old age security and other plantation perks.” Most people now know it was about freedom for the individual.

Right-to-work legislation frees workers to make choices. Workers groups should support more freedom for workers not chained to a group. Labor laws need to change and free workers as the first step in labor-law reform. Multi groups that each can represent their own members with equal pay for equal work and cafeteria plans for benefits. Why should a private group be allowed to compel forced fees from workers that many of them never got to even vote in!

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AARP, the American Legion and other private groups represent groups without forced fees. Worker groups should, also.

Workers know no company means no job and no pensions, no IRAs and no public stock. Workers know dues are often less in right-to-work states where workers have the choice to quit if dues are to high.

Almost all right-to-work states were historically poor and rural, even more so before RTW laws.

Recent years (last 30) show non-farm jobs and income have grown in right-to-work states while non-right-to-work states have lost jobs to overseas, bankruptcy or right-to-work states. Profitability and competition mean jobs. Think about Hormel Rath, Wilson & Co. and Iowa Beef Processors in the 1980s. Meet and confer is a goal for all as jobs and freedom go together.

Special-interest labor group bosses want forced fees from workers to boost their power and buy politicians that many workers may adhor. These labor bosses use worker money to convince them that free choice is bad for them.

I have been in forced-fee situations and know big bargaining groups may minimize small sections needs but forced-fee laws allow money to be taken even if workers want to quit or join another group. Workers are more then just workers! Workers deserve freedom now!


Tom Schleck

Albert Lea