News Release

Worker Rights Advocate Comments on Teamsters Endorsement of Gephardt’s Presidential Bid

Washington, D.C. (August 1, 2003) – Mark Mix, president of the National Right to Work Legal Defense Foundation, an employee rights advocacy group, issued the following statement regarding today’s anticipated endorsement of Congressman Richard Gephardt’s (D-MO) presidential candidacy:

“For most observers of politics, this announcement should come as no surprise. In fact, the only people in Washington who actually might be surprised by this announcement may be a few members of the White House political team who have been falling all over themselves to court James Hoffa and the International Brotherhood of Teamsters hierarchy for almost two years.

“This development further demonstrates the foolishness of a strategy pursued by the White House political office to make core policy concessions in exchange for Big Labor’s political support. The union brass have shown their gratitude by continuing to attack Bush and other Republicans and now by endorsing Bush’s opponent.

“Of course, this endorsement will almost certainly mean the commitment of millions of dollars in compulsory union dues to support Gephardt’s candidacy. Yet a large percentage of rank-and-file workers who work under Teamsters union contracts are Republicans and do not support Gephardt’s agenda.”

“By standing up for issues like Right to Work, cutting taxes, and reducing the size and scope of government, the President will earn the support of America’s rank-and-file union members. Indeed, if the President rejects his own principles to curry favor with Hoffa, John Sweeney, or other union bosses, it will ultimately hurt his reelection chances rather than enhance them.”

While Mr. Mix conceded that for the last two years the President has been focused on foreign affairs, Mix cited a long record of concessions by Bush Administration figures made to the Teamsters officials. The Bush Administration has:

    1) given Teamsters officials significant influence over selection of nominees to the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB);

    2) encouraged Congress not to hold hearings on legislation that would be embarrassing to union officials, such as legislation to end compulsory unionism;

    3) filed arguments in the U.S. Supreme Court opposing review of a NLRB decision that gutted employee rights not to pay forced union dues spent to support objectionable union activities;

    4) agreed to insert a discriminatory union-only project labor agreement into the Alaska energy legislation; and

    5) signaled its intention to release the corrupt Teamsters union from federal oversight.

The National Right to Work Legal Defense Foundation is a nonprofit, charitable organization providing free legal aid to employees whose human or civil rights have been violated by compulsory unionism abuses. The Foundation, which can be contacted toll-free at 1-800-336-3600, is assisting thousands of employees in over 200 cases nationwide.

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