A Labor Day Look at Labor

On this day set aside to celebrate the American worker, here's a quick look at several labor-related topics.

Political Editors · Sep. 4, 2017

Labor Day is upon us, a day set aside to celebrate the American worker. In this vein, here’s a quick look at several labor-related topics.

One: Over the years, labor unions have become increasingly politically partisan, essentially morphing into PACs for Democrats. Unions’ original cause of representing worker rights and interests has become one of propping up union bosses. With union memberships steadily dwindling to only 11% of the U.S. workforce and only 6% of current union members having ever voted for unionization, it’s time for reform. Rep. Phil Roe (R-TN) has introduced the Employee Rights Act, which would protect secret balloting, prevent members dues from being spent on anything except for collective-bargaining without a vote and provide for periodic recertification of union elections so that every employee has an opportunity to vote on whether they wish to be represented by a union.

Two: As the economy steadily picks up steam, a problem has begun to emerge across the country: More and more employers are having difficulty finding workers. There are several factors that have contributed to this problem, including a lack of skilled workers, coupled with an unemployment rate sitting at 4.4% — very close to “full” employment. Sen. Ron Johnson (R-WI) recently introduced a bill that would help alleviate this problem by increasing the number of visas for foreign guest workers. The State-Sponsored Visa Pilot Act would allow for up to 500,000 visas to be divvied up across all 50 states. Keeping jobs and job growth in the U.S. verses companies shipping jobs overseas will benefit the economy and American workers. The issue also pits two big Democrat constituencies against each other — Big Labor and immigrants.

Three: Unfortunately, when a tragedy happens there are those who, rather than working to help those in need, look to take advantage of the crisis. In the wake of Hurricane Harvey, Big Labor decided to exploit the disaster by conducting a fundraiser with the aim of supporting … unionization efforts. Texas Organizing Project Education Fund, a pro-labor union group, launched the Hurricane Harvey Community Relief Fund, stating, “Your donation is vital to ensuring that we have the resources we need to organize and fight for Texans devastated by Hurricane Harvey.”

Finally: Education Secretary Betsy DeVos has been a staunch advocate for school choice, something the Left and teachers unions hate. DeVos has a long history of working for school choice via a voucher system in her home state of Michigan. Her early efforts there failed, but support for school choice has grown, specifically among the poor. DeVos said, “Times have continued to change and move more in favor of giving parents and students more choices, because we’ve seen consistently that too many kids are not being served in the schools to which they’ve been assigned.” And what has been the biggest obstacle to school choice? Teachers unions. Thankfully, DeVos is committed to advocating for greater freedom for students and parents.

In any case, a happy Labor Day to those Americans taking a break from laboring today!

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