The "Right to Work" is on the line. The debate will not occur this week but the foundations are being laid for an all out assault on a 60-year Iowa tradition. Iowans have never been forced to join a union or to pay fees to a union in order to hold a job. That will change if the majority has their way and pushes "Fair Share" through the Iowa House.
As I write, a disingenuous argument is being made by the proponents of Fair Share. A public hearing is currently underway here in the House Chamber with testimony being presented on House File 324, the Fair Share Bill. They claim that the union is required by law to represent everyone who works in a shop where the union has a labor contract, that is true as far as it goes. What they neglect to tell us is that they have elected to negotiate that contract in exchange for monopoly rights in the work place. They have the ability to negotiate a contract where the only workers they would have to represent would be their members. Unions prefer the contract where they have to represent everyone because it also gives them that monopoly. In an exclusive contract, as it is called, no other union can attempt to organize the non-union workers in an exclusive shop and it is also illegal for a non-union worker to bargain on his own behalf for his wages and benefits. In exchange for monopoly bargaining rights, the unions agree to represent all workers in the shop.
Fair Share would mandate that any person working in an exclusive shop will donate fees to the union, those fees will be set by the union and in most cases will be deducted from the non-member's paycheck by the employer and forwarded to the union. Payment of these fees will be a condition of employment, in other words, if you don't pay, the union can and will have you fired. The union wants to be paid twice for representing all workers in an exclusive shop, once by being granted a monopoly on the labor in that shop and a second time when they confiscate money from non-members.
Non-union workers who are required to donate to Fair Share will not be union members, they will not be allowed to vote for union leadership, they will not have any say in how their Fair Share dollars are spent and they will not have any input on which people or policies the union endorses... If Fair Share is enacted, 39,000 Iowans will be forced to contribute $17 million to unions. That is $17 million that will not be spent in local stores, $17 million that will not buy homes, or cars, or refrigerators, $17 million that will be used to bolster the coffers of the national and international unions. Fair Share is not right for the Iowa workplace, it is not right for our business atmosphere, and it is not right for economic development.