Big Labor’s Servants

Right to work group highlights Democrats Landrieu, Pryor, Warner, Hagan, Udall, Braley, Orman, Weiland, and Grimes

President Barack Obama, AFL-CIO president Richard Trumka / AP

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A top labor watchdog is telling voters that Democrats in some of the nation’s most competitive Senate races are servants of labor unions.

The National Right to Work Foundation (NRWF) doled out its Union Brass awards on Wednesday to Democratic Sens. Mary Landrieu (La.), Mark Pryor (Ark.), Mark Warner (Va.), Kay Hagan (N.C.), and Mark Udall (Colo.), as well as Democratic Senate candidates Bruce Braley (Iowa), Rick Weiland (S.D.), and Alison Lundergan Grimes (Ky.). "Independent" Kansas Senate candidate Greg Orman, who has received donations from Democratic mega-donors, also received the award.

The awards are meant to inform voters that these nine candidates are guaranteed union votes on issues, such as coercive unionism and forced dues payments for workers, the organization said in a release.

"The incumbents among these candidates have been in Big Labor’s corner for their entire careers. And the newcomers are clearly starting out there," NRTW vice president Greg Mourad said in a statement.

The foundation pointed to Pryor, Landrieu, and Braley’s support for national card check legislation as a sign of their devotion to unions. Card check would eliminate secret ballot union elections by allowing labor groups to use signed cards from workers to unionize, a process open to corruption and intimidation, the group said.

"These three incumbents also voted for a bill to force all 50 states to set up forced unionization schemes for every police officer and firefighter in the country—a first step toward putting all state and local public employees under union control," foundation vice president Matthew Leen said.

The 2014 cycle is especially important with regard to labor issues.

Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid has used his position to block the passage of legislation that would institute right to work laws on the federal level. The proposal would end forced dues collections in all 50 states and allow workers to opt into or out of unions as individuals. The foundations said that these nine candidates would ensure that the legislation will not pass in the next Senate term.

Mourad said that union campaign cash is to blame for lawmakers’ resistance to labor reforms that would empower individuals.

"Public records show these candidates have received hundreds of thousands of forced-dues dollars in contributions, support and endorsements from AFL-CIO-affiliated unions," he said. "When AFL-CIO boss Richard Trumka spends that kind of money, he knows what he’s buying—politicians’ help in keeping rank-and-file workers under his monopoly control."

Bill McMorris   Email Bill | Full Bio | RSS
Bill McMorris is a staff writer for the Washington Free Beacon. He joins the Beacon from the Franklin Center for Government and Public Integrity, where he was managing editor of Old Dominion Watchdog. He was a 2010 Robert Novak Fellow with the Phillips Foundation, where he studied state pension shortfalls. His work has been featured on CNN, Fox News, The Economist, Colbert Report, and numerous print publications and radio stations. He lives in Alexandria, Va, with his wife and three daughters. His Twitter handle is @FBillMcMorris. His email address is mcmorris@freebeacon.com.

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