GOP congresswoman says protecting workers will somehow 'take away their freedom'

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Republican Rep. Virginia Foxx has a long record of fighting against workers' rights.

Rep. Virginia Foxx (R-NC) slammed unions in public remarks Tuesday about Democrats' Protecting the Right to Organize Act, which was passed Tuesday and bolsters unions along with protections for workers.

"The Democrats will have you believe that their radical PRO Act protects the right to organize," Foxx said. "All it does is protect the 1.6 billion dollars that the labor unions donate to support left-wing organizations."

She added that "while trying to garner support for this outrageous bill," Democrats have argued that unions built the middle class — which she rejects.

"I've heard Democrats argue that it’s the unions that built the middle class. No, the unions didn’t build the middle class," she said. "Entrepreneurs and individual workers in this country built the middle class. And what this bill does is take away their freedom, making unions bigger and individual freedom smaller."

She then listed a few of her objections to the act — for one, that it "reinstates harmful Obama-era regulations." One Obama-era regulation the bill reinstates is the requirement that companies disclose any payments made to union-busters to spread anti-union messaging to employees.

She also complained that it overturns right-to-work laws in 27 states. Right-to-work laws bar unions from charging 'fair share' fees from non-union members, effectively weakening union power.

Foxx also said she opposes more stringent tests to determine whether an employee is an independent contractor or an employee, despite employers frequently misclassifying employees as independent contractors to avoid giving them employee protections.

But Foxx's record on worker rights is problematic. The highest rating she has ever earned from the American Federation of Government Employees is 29% in 2019 for her record of supporting labor unions and workers' rights, and in 2007, 2009, 2010, and 2014 the organization gave her a 0% rating. Until 2018, she never earned a higher AFGE rating than 10%.

The American Federation of Labor and Congress of Industrial Organizations rated her at 24% in 2019 for supporting workers' rights. In 2017, the American Federation of State, County, and Municipal Employees gave her a 0% rating.

The Communications Workers of America gave her a 0% rating in the period of 2019 to 2020, with the National Farmers Union in 2016 awarding her a 0% rating for her record in supporting unions and workers. The United Food and Commercial Workers, the largest union for food workers, gave her a 0% rating in 2015.

FOXX: The Democrats will have you believe that their radical PRO Act protects the right to organize. All it does is protect the $1.6 billion that the labor unions donate to support left-wing organizations. While trying to garner support for this outrageous bill, I've heard Democrats argue that it’s the unions that built the middle class.

 

No, the unions didn't build the middle class. Entrepreneurs and individual workers in this country built the middle class. And what this bill does is take away their freedom, making unions bigger and individual freedom smaller.

Published with permission of The American Independent Foundation.