March 9, 2011- A group of conservative U.S. senators has introduced a bill to restrict unions from forcing workers to join and pay dues as a condition of employment.
The move on Capitol Hill comes as several states consider what's known as "right-to-work" legislation — proposals that have met stiff resistance. Indiana Republicans recently shelved their right-to-work bill after it sparked protests at the capital and after Democrats fled the state to block it, mimicking the tactic used by Wisconsin lawmakers holding up Gov. Scott Walker's anti-union proposal.
But GOP senators in Washington said national legislation is needed to stop the "strong-arm political tactics" they claim labor bosses are using to compel new employees into joining their ranks. They introduced the National Right to Work Act Tuesday.
"No American should be forced to join a union and pay dues to get a job in this country," Sen. Jim DeMint, R-S.C., said in a statement. "Many Americans are already struggling just to put food on the table, and they shouldn't have to fear losing their jobs or face discrimination if they don't want to join a union. Forced-unionism shields unions from member accountability and has a detrimental effect on the economy."
Opponents of right-to-work legislation say the proposals would lower pay and hurt workers.