Right-to-work laws promise to be a major campaign
issue in the coming presidential election. No doubt the
newly-wedded AFL-CIO will wield its tremendous
political power against these laws, while proponents
of such laws will be equally vigorous in their support.
In the tradition of Facts Forum this vital and controversial question is examined from opposing points of view.
say those who feel that compulsory unionism i*
&Q. other name for creeping communism. Argumen"
those favoring right-to-work laws are as foil"
MANY people regard the current
movements toward compulsory union membership as
wayward cancer cells, spreading
malignantly tlirough the bloodstream
One newspaper has labeled compulsory unionism "depersonalization."1
Submergence of self is another way of
putting it. To join or not to join — it
seems that this will no longer be the
question if unions have their way.
Workers will be forced to join a union.
It has been said that unscrupulous
politicians, gangsters, and some labor
leaders are banding together in an
ever-increasing manner. Losers from
such an alliance are, first, the workers;
and, second, the public at large.-
When the time comes that a worker
cannot work at a job except In belonging to a union, with subsequent
support of same, he becomes, in effect,
a victim of "government without consent of the governed."''
Granted, union membership by
compulsion does make the union
strong. At the same time this captive
membership makes it possible for
unions to expand and pursue courses
which may be at variance with the
'"A Laboring Man Looks at Labor." by losenh
A. Byrd, Tin' Tablet, Mar. 19, 1955.
■"Forced Membership Steals row Freedom,"
pamphlet issued I >> National Hittht to Work Committee, not dated, p. 13.
tor Voluntary Unionism." pamphlet
issued l>v Chamber of Commerce ot tin- United
st.it,>,. Washington 6, D. C, not dated, p. 8.
workers' viewpoints. Compulsory
unionism vests great power in a few.
And, while labor unions have many
great and honest leaders, they have
also small and dishonest ones. While
good leaders may build mighty machines for worthy purposes, bad leaders may later operate them with evil
intent. All they need is the chance.
Voluntary unionism is the best defense against bad operation.'
Critics cite, to illustrate how far the
unions have come — the wrong way
— an excerpt from Samuel Gompers'
final presidential address to the AFL
Convention, El Paso, Texas, 1924:
... I want to urge devotion to trie fundamentals of human liberty — the principles
of voluntarism. \o compulsion, If we seek
to force, we but tear apart that which,
united, is invincible . . .
It may be hard for many to believe
that this was the message of Gompers,
that "Grand Old Man" of Labor. Compare that approach to the unions of
today, which, sonic allege, tire netting
(at and happy on the sweat of the
Again, from the speech of Gompers:
So long as we have held fast to voluntary principles and have been actuated
and inspired by tbe spirit of service, we
have sustained our forward progress and
we have made our labor movement something to be respected and accorded a place
'"The Case foi Voluntary Unionism," [ssned by
Chamber of Commerce ol die United States, Washington ti. D. C. not dated, p. tt.
in the councils of our Republic. \Vhcrl
have blundered into trying to (one ;l
icy or a decision, even though wise
right, we have impeded, if not intern1!1
tbe realization of our aims.
. . . Base your all upon voluntary 1'
riples. . . .
It seems to be the consensus
tainly a revolutionary consensu*',.
day that a citizen has to belong WI
pay union dues to a labor organi^J
in order that he nitty be permit*^!
work and earn his livelihood- ,
tenet is contrary to out' free "m
Cratic system of government. I'.,
lates individual freedom and ''-,
choice, and it is unconsti(uti|l"y
well. Economic slavery might wl
the term applied to forcing a 1''
to join tut organization in or*
enjoy the privilege of working- U
Some declare that not only "°^f|
violate the constitutional rights °J
people, but it may well perp* I
parasitic union control meinl»'|S'j:
honest or not. And, worst ol •1'.'.,|il
there is little nationwide oppos'" 1
this social "disease," our fedei'1'1 3
eminent, too often the tool <" 'J
lias fallen in with "*j
ie it -n'
bfir. to ;
ized labor, state laws notwithst8D!J|
As a matter of fact, the tendenc)
courts to rule that states will b«J|
hibited from enacting labor
tion where the federal govcrnn"' v
""•■•'-• d <•'>' '
•"The Risht to Work.
Right to Work Committee
■ published % C
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