WASHINGTON (Gray DC) - New Legislation on Capitol Hill could spell trouble for labor unions. The bill
calls for a national right to work law, giving employees the choice to opt out of joining labor unions. One of the lawmakers leading the effort says the American people should have the choice to join.
Congressman Wilson (R-SC) says the legislation will create countless jobs.
"It gives an opportunity for people to be a member of a union or not," said Congressman Joe Wilson (R-SC).
That's what Wilson says the National Right to Work Act would accomplish. It says no American employee should be forced to join a labor union, meaning no dues either.
"It gives a level of certainty for businesses to locate and expand," said Wilson. "And it's been so successful in South Carolina and Georgia."
This is not the first attempt at National Right to Work legislation. But with a strong Republican majority across Washington, Wilson is optimistic it will become law this time.
"The traditional obstacle we'll have will be the U.S. Senate," said Wilson. "But the bottom line (is), we'll continue to work because it protects workers' rights and it also encourages the creation of jobs."
Twenty-eight states have their own right to work legislation, including South Carolina and Georgia. Wilson says it has created countless jobs, with employers handling employees directly rather than going through unions. Labor unions see this legislation as a blatant attack.
"Anytime any type of national right to work or state right to work legislation is introduced, it's purely and simply to get rid of labor unions," said Bret Caldwell, Director of Communications for the International Brotherhood of Teamsters.
He says it's an attempt to cut off funding for unions.
"It's really hard to say exactly what the immediate impact will be," said Caldwell. "But in the long-term, what's going to happen is that unions are going to have to represent workers who don't pay their fair share, and we don't think that's right."
While Wilson is confident Congress will pass the bill, Caldwell says he is holding out hope that President Trump, who has dealt with unions many times, will reject it.