The authoritarian left is determined to prevent employers from controlling the way their companies function. They’ve shown repeatedly that they will stop at nothing to take away all power from business owners and give it to corrupt bureaucrats operating their unions. They accomplish this by using the government to pass policies that empower labor groups. Thankfully, now that conservatives are in power, these absurd laws are being repealed.
In Wisconsin, Governor Scott Walker (R) just signed a bill into law that prohibits labor unions from controlling the bidding of government contracts. This means that companies working on public projects no longer have to use collective bargaining agreements or mandatory project labor agreements. This new law weakens the power that unions have over the taxpayer.
Earlier this week, Gov. Walker Senate Bill 3. The legislation prevents local and state governments from considering whether the bidder has entered into a labor agreement a factor when awarding a project and was approved by legislators 64-35. Specifically, it makes it illegal for governments to “require that a bidder enter into or adhere to an agreement with a labor organization or consider as a factor in making an award under this section whether any bidder has or has not entered into an agreement with a labor organization.” Expanding who can bid allows nonunion businesses to compete, stripping unions of their monopoly on government contracts.
“By forbidding state and local governments from requiring contractors to enter into agreements with labor organizations, we’re promoting healthy competition between contractors,” Walker said in a statement. “This means the contractor ultimately chosen for the project is the one that has demonstrated excellent service and will work at good value for Wisconsin taxpayers,” he added, concluding, “at the end of the day, this means the contractor ultimately chosen for the project is the one that has demonstrated excellent service and will work at good value for Wisconsin taxpayers.”
Before this bill, labor unions were given preferential treatment over other workers when applying for government contracts. This put nonunion members at an extreme disadvantage. This law makes the bidding process much more competitive, which not only makes it fairer, but it also helps drive down costs. Patrick Semmens, vice president of the National Right to Work Legal Defense Foundation, argued that that Project Labor Agreements (PLAs) discriminate against workers who don’t join a union and make public projects more expensive. “PLAs are a nothing more than a handout to construction union bosses at the expense of taxpayers and nonunion workers,” he claimed.
However, Democrats have pushed back against the legislation. Milwaukee Mayor Tom Barrett (D) argued that the benefits of PLAs are greater than the cost. “These types of agreements can enable costs to be more tightly controlled and ensure that there are no disruptions to the construction schedule, for example from strikes. These factors far outweigh the unproven assertion that PLAs drive up project costs,” he stated.
President has also taken a stand against trade unions. Earlier this year, he legislation repealing President Barack Obama’s 2014 Fair Pay and Safe Workplaces rule. The policy forced government contractors and subcontractors to report all allegations of labor violations to the Department of Labor. It also gave officials the ability to deny work to businesses with any history of labor violations. According to Press Secretary Sean Spicer, “the rule simply made it too easy for trial lawyers to go after American companies and American workers who contract with the federal government. The president saw that workers, tax, and businesses truly suffered under this rule.”
Many praised him for eliminating the rule, calling it the “most significant threats to the growing American businesses and to hiring more American workers.” They considered it a way for business to be blacklisted by the government, making it essentially impossible to get a federal contract, and wanted it overturned. President Trump agreed, and with the stroke of a pen, made it easier for nonunion business to compete for work.
Ben Brubeck, Vice President of Regulatory Affairs for Associated Builders and Contractors (ABC), claimed that “the rule violated the due process rights of contractors by forcing them to report mere allegations of misconduct—which are often frivolous and filed with nefarious intentions by special interest groups—the same as fully adjudicated violations.” He added, “ABC is committed to working with the Trump administration and Congress to improve the government’s current procurement system to ensure that taxpayer-funded projects are awarded through a transparent and fair bid process that encourages competition from all qualified contractors.”
Wisconsin isn’t the only state fighting back against labor unions. In Iowa, legislators recently passed a law that designed to destroy collective bargaining attempts by making it illegal to negotiate most of the subjects now covered by contracts. The law prohibits unions from negotiating with employers about “health care, transfers, job evaluations, procedures for workforce reductions, subcontracting, or anything related to seniority.” Thanks to this bill, business owners are able to regain control over the way their company runs. The only thing employees are still allowed to negotiate is pay.
The bill also hurts unions by eliminating the dues checkoff process. By doing so, workers will no longer have some of their money deducted from their paycheck and given to the union they’re apart of. Many liberals argue that since it’s voluntary, it should not be illegal. They fear that the law is an attempt to cut off revenue to unions in order to make them less effective. However, the law is not intended to be malicious. It’s intended to give business owners the ability to decide how to run their organization. If they manage their company poorly or abuse their employees, the free market will sort it out.
Now that Republicans are in control, they must stand up to labor unions. For years, they’ve abused their power and used lawmakers to force business owners to do what they say. Fortunately, it looks like things are changing. Wisconsin and Iowa have shown that conservatives won’t tolerate having their rights as employers violated. Policies like theirs should be adopted in every state.
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