Washington, D.C. (January 7, 2002) – The National Right to Work Legal Defense Foundation today called upon President George W. Bush to appeal the U. S. District Court’s decision to invalidate his executive order requiring federal contractors to post notices informing employees that they cannot be compelled to pay union dues spent for partisan politics or any other activities unrelated to collective bargaining.
At the same time, the Foundation delivered an initial wave of 39,000 signed grassroots petitions urging President Bush to defend his executive order from union attack.
“The White House must appeal the court’s decision without delay to slow union officials’ systematic shakedown of working Americans for hundreds of millions dollars for politics,” stated Stefan Gleason, Vice President of the National Right to Work Legal Defense Foundation. “This is an important test for the White House. To what extent will the President use his power to free workers from union exploitation?”
Signed on February 17, 2001, Executive Order 13201 would affect a segment of the 12 million American employees compelled to pay union dues as a condition of employment, as it requires companies with federal contracts to inform workers of their rights under the Foundation-won Supreme Court decision in Communications Workers v. Beck. Bush’s father issued a similar executive order in April of 1992 that was immediately revoked at the request of union officials when President Clinton took office in 1993. Additionally, the Clinton National Labor Relations Board stonewalled the enforcement of these precious employee protections, often leaving many cases languishing within the bureaucracy for six or more years.
Judge Henry Kennedy Jr. of U. S. District Court for the District of Columbia last week enjoined the implementation of the President’s directive on the grounds that the action was preempted by Congress – despite the fact that Bush’s executive order only seeks to enforce the Supreme Court’s interpretation of congressionally enacted law. In May 2001, a group of unions filed the case, known as UAW-Labor Employment and Training Corporation et al. v. Chao et al.
“Union officials seem to be willing to go to any length to keep the forced union dues flowing into their massive political machine,” said Gleason. “Since polls show that 62 percent of unionized employees do not want their money spent this way, union officials are terrified of the consequences if workers learn about their right to withhold this money.”
Copies of the Foundation’s letter and the grassroots petitions are available upon request.
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, assists thousands of employees in more than 250 cases nationwide per year.