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Free Choice for Workers: Protecting the Fundamental Liberties of American Labor

Recorded on September 1, 2005

Location: The Heritage Foundation's Lehrman Auditorium

This Labor Day presents an excellent time to reflect on the direction of America's unions, especially in light of recent developments at the AFL-CIO convention. Over the years, the Right to Work movement has shown time and again that union officials rarely represent the best interests of rank-and-file workers, particularly the 12 million employees today who must join or pay dues to a union or be fired from their jobs. For 50 years now, the National Right to Work Committee has stood constant watch, protecting the right of citizens to make their own decisions about how best to live their lives and earn their livelihoods. It has not been an easy task. The Committee and the Legal Defense Foundation have fought for worker freedom in the face of oppressive New Deal labor legislation such as the National Labor Relations Act; initiated challenges on the state and local level to compulsory unionism and the misuse of compulsory union dues for politics; confronted political persecution by the IRS and FEC; as well as battled an ugly history of violence ordered by corrupt labor union bosses.

In spite of organized labor's assault on the basic notions of free speech and free association, the Right to Work principle enjoys support from nearly 80 percent of all American voters. Join us, as our distinguished panelists review not only the history of this movement, but also the outlook for extending this fundamental freedom in the years ahead.