According to literature furnished in part by one of our readers and in part by my colleague, Prof. Hanko, there is pending before the United States Senate a “Labor Reform Act.” The House of Representatives approved this bill last October. Originally I was informed that the Senate would vote on it in February; and therefore I did not write about the matter, thinking it was too late to publish anything before the vote. Now, however, the vote has been delayed; and perhaps it will be delayed long enough for you to write to your senators and express your opposition and displeasure. To urge you to do so is part of the purpose of this editorial.
I will not quote the technical language of the proposed legislation. But let me point out the following:
1. Organized labor has made this bill its number one priority. That in itself is sufficient testimony to the fact that it is a bad bill to the Christian who is opposed to worldly unions.
2. Labor unions have been losing ground over the last twenty years. In 1976, only one in five American workers belonged to a labor union. Besides, unions are now losing more secret ballot elections than they win. Hence, labor wants a shot in the arm from the Federal government to assist in union organizing efforts.
3. S. 1883 is designed to strengthen the hand of the unions. It seeks to require “quickie” union elections. It would allow professional union organizers to campaign on an employer’s property and time. It would create stiff new penalties which would apply chiefly to employers. And the bill does nothing at all to recognize the rights of workers who do not want to join a union.
Moreover, this is but the first step in big labor’s program. If they succeed in this step and gain strength, they will, in turn, have more influence on the Congress; and this will in turn give them a better chance of success in getting other legislation passed. On labor’s program are such items as repeal of right-to-work laws, giving public employees the right to strike, and the legalization of common situs picketing.
We all know that the place of the Christian worker who will not make common cause with ungodly labor unions is in many areas of our country already very small and narrow. This proposed legislation would serve to make that place even smaller. We know, too, of course, that eventually there will be no place in this world for the child of God. The latter fact does not mean, however, that we may or should sit idly by with a fatalistic attitude when legislation such as this is pending. We may and we should, as Christians, protest. And if by our testimony we can also succeed in maintaining for a time some place for ourselves in the midst of the world—for the kingdom of God’s sake—so much the better!
We suggest and urge, therefore, (if this legislation has not been passed by the time this appears in print) that you write the Senator(s) from your state, and let your testimony be heard. You can address your senator as follows:
The Honorable John Doe
United States Senate
Washington, D.C. 20510
Compose your own letter. It will get more attention than a mass mailing of a form letter.