The Democratic majority in the U.S. House has passed a something called “The Protecting the Right to Organize [PRO] Act.” Among other things, it would do the following:

  • Authorize private unions to collect “fair share” fees from nonmembers in a union shop — effectively getting rid of Right to Work in North Carolina and 27 other states and pumping unions full of cash, taken from people against their will
  • Force employers to give union organizers their employees’ private information, including their names, addresses, home and cell phone numbers, work and personal email addresses, work schedules, and work locations — removing obvious worker protections against intimidation
  • Require card-check elections in cases where unions lost the initial secret ballot election and protested — removing a vital worker protection against intimidation
  • Have a company that contracts for someone’s services to satisfy a new, three-part test to prove the independent contractor isn’t actually a company employee — wedging even more people into paying union fees against their will, as well as forcing companies to disemploy untold numbers of independent contractors and gig workers

What are they thinking?

Good heavens. Where did they get this horrid idea from, and why? Perhaps this is the reason.

In 2018 the Supreme Court held in Janus vs. the American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees(AFSCME) that public employees unions could not charge nonmembers fees for the union’s representation on their behalf. That’s a violation of “fundamental free speech rights,” the Court held.

The fallout from Janus was sobering. In the year that followed, 98 percent of the nonmembers previously forced to pay “agency fees” to AFSCME had dropped out. Meanwhile, 94 percent of nonmembers to another public employee union, the Service Employees International Union (SEIU), had likewise dropped out of paying fees. The Supreme Court was right to give them their rights back.

Less powerful unions are less helpful to Democrats. Unions are a significant donor base of Democrats. Unions contributed over $217 million to campaigns in 2017 — over 90 percent of that going to Democrats.

Meanwhile, union membership had fallen to nearly half of what it was in 1983 (from 20.1 percent to 10.7 percent of workers in 2017).

I’ve already written about why it’s impossible to tally up all the negative impacts this bill would have on North Carolina’s economy. It’s enough to know it would be very bad. The PRO Act would try to cram a 20th century model of collectivism and grift on a vastly advanced world.

Interested in learning more?

Consider attending Monday’s “Shaftesbury Society” lecture on Legislative Challenges to Worker Choice: featuring labor market policy data analyst Isabel Soto of the American Action Forum.