01 Jul 1996 African-American Group Says Workers Need Protection from Unions, Too; House to Vote on “Worker Right to Know Act” – July 1996
Contact: Arturo Silva at (202) 507-6398 or [email protected]
Saying that workers need protection from powerful, authoritarian labor unions as much as they do from employers, members of the African-American leadership group Project 21 are applauding an effort in the U.S. House of Representatives to give employees more power in their dealings with unions.
Project 21 has published Briefing Points on the initiative, which includes a “Worker Right to Know Act,” sponsored by Rep. Harris Fawell (R-IL). Hearings have been held on the legislation, which was introduced today, July 17 and will be voted on in the full House as part of campaign finance reform legislation on Thursday, July 18.
“Obviously, someone needs to protect the rights of millions of union workers who object to the way [AFL-CIO President] Mr. Sweeney and his liberal union boss buddies are spending the money they steal from working men and women,” says Project 21 member Mark Lampkin. Lampkin, who is also General Counsel to the U.S. House Republican Conference, adds: “While over 40% of union workers support conservative policies, unions take 99% of union dues to support liberal policies. The elite leadership of the AFL-CIO is more interested in big spending, income redistribution, gay rights and abortion on demand than they are the moral, ideological and ethical concerns of the rank and file union members.”
The Worker Right to Know Act would strengthen the 1988 Supreme Court Beck decision allowing workers to object to the use of their union dues for anything but collective bargaining. In May, the House Employer/Employee Relations Subcommittee held hearings on the legislation.
“Over the years, millions of employees subsidized, to the tune of tens of millions of dollars, union activities wholly unrelated to employees’ wages or terms and conditions of employment,” says Project 21 member Peter Kirsanow, Chief Labor Counsel for Cleveland, Ohio from 1984 to 1990. “The Worker Right to Know Act corrects the repugnant union practice of forcing employees to financially support political positions and arguments to which the employees are personally opposed.”
Project 21 was recently referred to by the liberal Nation magazine as “the organization most responsible for confusing the media about the clout of conservatives inside the black community…” For the Briefing Points mentioned above, or an interview, contact Arturo Silva at (202) 507-6398 or at [email protected].