April 12, 2021

Let’s make this clear right up front.  Currently, North Carolina law makes it unlawful to force a worker to join a union or pay union dues, fees, or charges as a condition of their employment. (NC Code Sec. 95-82)  Any contracts that call for union shops are unlawful.

That’s why it is interesting to see Senate Bill 701, Restore Public Sector Collective Bargaining introduced in the General Assembly – legislation that would repeal a 1959 ban on any kind of collective bargaining that gives unions negotiating power.

The News & Observer reported that Sen. Wiley Nickel, a Cary Democrat, sponsored the same bill in the 2019 session, and is sponsoring it once again, saying, “When you have people form unions for their work, they see better pay and better benefits. It helps on so many levels.”

Since North Carolina has been a strong Right to Work state for years and years, you may not think this legislation has much of a chance.  But the way our traditional institutions have been  under full-blown, well-funded attack from the Left lately, this renewed attempt should not be taken lightly.

Any breach in this important issue would be a critical blow to business and economic development in North Carolina.  Our strong anti-union tradition is one of the most attractive incentives we have for industry coming in from pro-union states. Our companies are more competitive because they’re not forced to pay artificially higher wages that would hurt a company’s bottom line. And – that lack of union involvement in North Carolina has kept out the corruption often associated with union bosses – like embezzlement, racketeering and ties to organized crime.

The N&O article stated that as of 2020, union membership rate across the country was 10.8% according to U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics and reported that “North Carolina has the second-lowest union membership rate in the country, at 3.1%, after South Carolina.”

In the movies, unions are portrayed as representing the hard-working, sweat-of their-brow, blue-collar worker.

Take a closer look at the kind of unions impacting North Carolina.  According to OpenSecrets.org, public sector unions – largely federal and state employees – contributed multimillions across the country in the 2019-2020 election cycle.

The National Education Association (NEA – the parent organization of the NCAE) contributed over $44 million to liberals. The American Federation of Teachers contributed more than $14 million. And those are just two public sector unions.  Check out the rest on OpenSecrets.org.

No wonder Governor Roy Cooper caved to the teachers union bosses’ wishes to continue virtual learning while parents begged and pleaded to get their children back into in-person learning at their local schools.  The national money available for liberal NC politicians is incredible already.

Can you imagine how much money would flow into their coffers if North Carolina cracked the door open to Big Labor union bosses?

For the sake of the parents who want in-person learning for their children in schools, we need to make sure unions don’t get any more of a toehold in our state than they already have with the NCAE teachers union which has been a disgusting roadblock for our children’s in-person learning.