Experienced constitutional lawyer: Congressionally-imposed monopoly bargaining for state and local government infringes on workers’ rights

Washington, D.C. (June 26, 2019) – Today, National Right to Work Foundation staff attorney William Messenger will testify before the House Committee on Health, Employment, Labor, and Pensions, and urge the body to reject legislative proposals that would install monopoly bargaining across all states for public sector workers. Messenger’s testimony falls approximately one year after the Supreme Court issued its decision in the landmark Janus v. AFSCME case, which Messenger successfully argued for Illinois public employee Mark Janus.

Messenger’s testimony exposes the various tactics that union bosses use to shore up their grip on power, but identifies monopoly bargaining – which forces employees under union officials’ representation even against their will – as at the core of Big Labor’s coercive powers. Messenger’s written testimony explained why those powers are particularly offensive in the government sector:

“In the private sector, negotiations between an employer and a monopoly bargaining representative concern issues that affect that employer and its employees. In the public sector, negotiations between government officials and union representatives concern political issues that affect third-parties: individual citizens…In state after state where unions have gained monopoly bargaining powers in the public sector, costs skyrocket while quality of service declines. But monopoly bargaining allows unions to become the most powerful force in state politics and to pour millions of dollars and thousands of man-hours into electing public officials, allowing unions to sit on both sides of the negotiating table.”

Messenger instead praises legislation like the National Right to Work Act (NRTWA), which would reorient public and private sector labor law to protect the individual freedom of workers. Messenger emphasizes in his testimony that “rank-and-file workers want Congress to protect them from Big Labor, not to give union officials even more power to control their lives and paychecks.”

“No American worker should be forced to surrender their workplace voice to a private organization,” observed National Right to Work Foundation President Mark Mix. “The endgame of the anti-worker legislation that is currently being considered by the House of Representatives is clear: granting Big Labor control over public policy at all levels of government to the detriment of taxpayers, voters and the freedoms of the very workers government union bosses claim to represent.”