WSJ – Apr 23, 2022

Letter to the Editor

Union Pressure and a Labor Double Standard

Newly hired government employees are being coerced and misled.

222 words

Your editorial “Rewriting Labor Law by Fiat”(April 12) rightly excoriates National Labor Relations Board counsel Jennifer Abruzzo for her attempt to suppress the free-speech rights of private employers. She would prevent them from holding meetings to speak with employees about the implications of unionization. Ironically, the exact opposite behavior is often sanctioned in the public sector.

Here in Washington, a state law allows government-employee unions to conduct a 30-minute meeting with each new hire, during which workers are subjected to a high-pressure pitch to join the union designated as the agency’s sole bargaining representative. The arm-twisting sessions are technically voluntary, but that information is rarely shared with the workers.

In keeping with this policy of indoctrination, a request earlier this year from the Freedom Foundation to offer a 15-minute presentation giving the employees an alternative, fact-based appraisal of their rights was summarily rejected by Washington’s Labor Department.

Audiotapes recorded during the union-led sessions show attendees being told that union participation is still required for all government employees, even though that practice was banned by the U.S. Supreme Court in 2018. If it’s suddenly an illegal labor practice for a private-sector employer to require attendance at a meeting during which the implications of unionization are openly discussed, shouldn’t the same standard apply to government workers?

Jeff Rhodes

The Freedom Foundation

Olympia, Wash.■

The Wall Street Journal