Today, House Education and Labor Committee Republican Leader Virginia Foxx (R-NC) spoke on the House floor in celebration of the right-to-work legislation, which led to unparalleled opportunities for workers and economic growth across the country.
Republican Leader Foxx’s remarks:
“Madam Speaker, though what I’m about to say will surely cause a strong case of hypertension among my Democrat colleagues and their union allies, I won’t hold back: unions didn’t build the middle class in America—entrepreneurs and hardworking Americans did.
“Tomorrow marks the 75th anniversary of the landmark legislation that enabled states to pass right-to-work laws, and it is a cause for celebration. Since 1947, 27 states have decided to allow employees to choose for themselves whether to belong to a union or not.
“And what a smart decision passing right-to-work laws was, Madam Speaker. They give workers the freedom to make their own choice when it comes to paying union dues.
“With rising inflation and gas prices, workers should not be forced to hand their hard-earned paychecks over to unions in order to keep their jobs. Time and again, unions proved that worker representation plays second fiddle to a partisan political agenda. That comes as no surprise to anyone.
“For example, the AFL-CIO’s financial disclosure form shows that they spent more than $37 million on political activity and lobbying while spending just $16 million to represent workers. Workers should never be forced to fund political causes they disagree with.
“The truth is right-to-work laws are good for unions too. Making union membership a choice instead of a mandatory condition of employment improves unions by making them more responsive to worker needs. It’s no secret that unions in mandatory-dues states neglect the needs of workers. It isn’t until unions have to fight to get and keep members that they make workers a priority. Giving workers a choice gives workers leverage and this can lead to more transparency and accountability.
“And the truth is that right-to-work laws are good for the economy and bolster industries. Data shows that states with right-to-work laws have lower unemployment and higher job and wage growth than states without such laws. Worker freedom leads to flourishing—what a concept, Madam Speaker.
“One study shows that right-to-work states attract more manufacturing and construction jobs than states with compulsory union membership. States which have enacted right-to-work laws in the past 22 years have a 20.7 percent higher manufacturing share than they would have if they did not protect worker freedom.
“And according to the National Right to Work Committee, factory employment rose by 150,000 in right-to-work states in 2021 alone. These numbers speak for themselves. Being pro-right-to-work means being pro-growth.
“In the face of such overwhelming positive figures, I find it mindboggling that Democrats want to push the radical Protecting the Right to Organize (PRO) Act. The PRO Act would overturn right-to-work laws in 27 states and force workers to line the wallets of union bosses.
“PRO Act policies will undermine worker choice, burden employers, and harm our economy for years to come. That is why I have been working in Congress to oppose this legislation and to hold the Biden administration accountable when it tries to push PRO Act policies by executive fiat.
“Madam Speaker, it is time to embrace worker freedom, a quintessential American value, and it is time to protect worker rights. I am proud to celebrate the 75th anniversary of the right to work. Let’s make every state a right-to-work state. I guarantee the country would be much better off.”
Watch the full video here.