Labor Pains

James Sherk, Senior Policy Analyst in Labor Economics at the Heritage Foundation, has released a new report that proposes a way to stop the labor union monopoly at the state and local level: free choice for employee representation.

Free choice in employment never seems to interest organized labor or those on the left. In any other context, the freedom of association is heralded as an important right. But thanks to the trends in labor’s political spending, the story is quite different.

Nonetheless, Sherk makes the case for states to allow state and local government workers to voluntarily decide if they want to be members of the currently established union, a different union, or just represent themselves. Note that this is different than right-to-work: In right-to-work states, if an employee opts out of joining the union, he or she is still forced to work under the union-negotiated contract. That system is what prompts organized labor’s attack that those exercising their rights are “freeloaders.”

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