H. Rept. 105-397 - 105th Congress (1997-1998)
November 08, 1997, As Reported by the Education and the Workforce Committee

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House Report 105-397 - WORKER PAYCHECK FAIRNESS ACT




[House Report 105-397]
[From the U.S. Government Printing Office]



105th Congress                                                   Report
                        HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES

 1st Session                                                    105-397
_______________________________________________________________________


 
                      WORKER PAYCHECK FAIRNESS ACT

_______________________________________________________________________


November 8, 1997.--Committed to the Committee of the Whole House on the 
              State of the Union and ordered to be printed

                                _______
                                

   Mr. Goodling, from the Committee on Education and the Workforce, 
                        submitted the following

                              R E P O R T

                             together with

               MINORITY, DISSENTING, AND ADDITIONAL VIEWS

                        [To accompany H.R. 1625]

      [Including cost estimate of the Congressional Budget Office]

  The Committee on Education and the Workforce, to whom was 
referred the bill (H.R. 1625) to ensure that workers have 
sufficient information about their rights regarding the payment 
of dues or fees to labor organizations and the uses of employee 
dues and fees by labor organizations, having considered the 
same, report favorably thereon with an amendment and recommend 
that the bill as amended do pass.
  The amendment is as follows:
  Strike out all after the enacting clause and insert in lieu 
thereof the following:

SECTION 1. SHORT TITLE.

  This Act may be cited as the ``Worker Paycheck Fairness Act''.

SEC. 2. FINDINGS.

  The Congress finds the following:
          (1) Workers who pay dues or fees to a labor organization may 
        not, as a matter of law, be required to pay to that 
        organization any dues or fees supporting activities that are 
        not necessary to performing the duties of the exclusive 
        representative of the employees in dealing with the employer on 
        labor-management issues.
          (2) Many labor organizations use portions of the dues or fees 
        they collect from the workers they represent for activities 
        that are not necessary to performing the duties of the 
        exclusive representative of the employees in dealing with the 
        employer on labor-management issues. These dues may be used to 
        support political, social, or charitable causes or many other 
        noncollective bargaining activities. Unfortunately, many 
        workers who pay such dues or fees have insufficient information 
        both about their rights regarding the payment of dues or fees 
        to a labor organization and about how labor organizations spend 
        employee dues or fees.
          (3) It is a fundamental tenet of this Nation that all men and 
        women have a right to make individual and informed choices 
        about the political, social, or charitable causes they support, 
        and the law should protect that right to the greatest extent 
        possible.

SEC. 3. PURPOSE.

  The purpose of this Act is to ensure that all workers have sufficient 
information about their rights regarding the payment of dues or fees to 
labor organizations and the uses of employee dues and fees by labor 
organizations and that the right of all workers to make individual and 
informed choices about the political, social, or charitable causes they 
support is protected to the greatest extent possible.

SEC. 4. WRITTEN CONSENT.

  (a) In General.--
          (1) Authorization.--A labor organization accepting payment of 
        any dues or fees from an employee as a condition of employment 
        pursuant to an agreement authorized by Federal law must secure 
        from each employee prior, voluntary, written authorization for 
        any portion of such dues or fees which will be used for 
        activities not necessary to performing the duties of the 
        exclusive representative of the employees in dealing with the 
        employer on labor-management issues.
          (2) Requirements.--Such written authorization shall clearly 
        state that an employee may not be required to provide such 
        authorization and that if such authorization is provided, the 
        employee agrees to allow any dues or fees paid to the labor 
        organization to be used for activities which are not necessary 
        to performing the duties of exclusive representation and which 
        may be political, social, or charitable in nature.
  (b) Revocation.--An authorization described in subsection (a) shall 
remain in effect until revoked. Such revocation shall be effective upon 
30 days written notice.
  (c) Civil Action by Employees.--
          (1) Liability.--Any labor organization which violates this 
        section or section 7 shall be liable to the affected employee--
                  (A) for damages equal to--
                          (i) the amount of the dues or fees accepted 
                        in violation of this section;
                          (ii) the interest on the amount described in 
                        clause (i) calculated at the prevailing rate; 
                        and
                          (iii) an additional amount as liquidated 
                        damages equal to the sum of the amount 
                        described in clause (i) and the interest 
                        described in clause (ii); and
                  (B) for such equitable relief as may be appropriate.
          (2) Right of action.--An action to recover the damages or 
        equitable relief prescribed in paragraph (1) may be maintained 
        against any labor organization in any Federal or State court of 
        competent jurisdiction by any one or more employees for and in 
        behalf of--
                  (A) the employees; or
                  (B) the employees and other employees similarly 
                situated.
          (3) Fees and costs.--The court in such action shall, in 
        addition to any judgment awarded to the plaintiff, allow a 
        reasonable attorney's fee, reasonable expert witness fees, and 
        other costs of the action to be paid by the defendant.
          (4) Limitation.--An action may be brought under this 
        subsection not later than 2 years after the date the employee 
        knew or should have known that dues or fees were accepted or 
        spent by a labor organization in violation of this Act, except 
        that such period shall be extended to 3 years in the case of a 
        willful violation.

SEC. 5. NOTICE.

  An employer whose employees are represented by a collective 
bargaining representative shall be required to post a notice, of such 
size and in such form as the Department of Labor shall prescribe, in 
conspicuous places in and about its plants and offices, including all 
places where notices to employees are customarily posted, informing 
employees that any labor organization accepting payment of any dues or 
fees from an employee as a condition of employment pursuant to an 
agreement authorized by Federal law must secure from each employee 
prior, written authorization if any portion of such dues or fees will 
be used for activities not necessary to performing the duties of the 
exclusive representative of the employees in dealing with the employer 
on labor-management issues.

SEC. 6. DISCLOSURE TO WORKERS.

  (a) Expenses Reporting.--Section 201(b) of the Labor-Management 
Reporting and Disclosure Act of 1959 is amended by adding at the end 
the following new sentence: ``Every labor organization shall be 
required to attribute and report expenses in such detail as necessary 
to allow members to determine whether such expenses were necessary to 
performing the duties of the exclusive representative of the employees 
in dealing with the employer on labor-management issues.''
  (b) Disclosure.--Section 201(c) of the Labor-Management Reporting and 
Disclosure Act of 1959 is amended--
          (1) by inserting ``and employees required to pay any dues or 
        fees to such organization'' after ``members''; and
          (2) inserting ``or employee required to pay any dues or fees 
        to such organization'' after ``member'' each place it appears.
  (c) Written Requests.--Section 205(b) of the Labor-Management 
Reporting and Disclosure Act of 1959 is amended by adding at the end 
the following new sentence: ``Upon written request, the Secretary shall 
make available complete copies of any report or other document filed 
pursuant to section 201.''.

SEC. 7. RETALIATION AND COERCION PROHIBITED.

  It shall be unlawful for any labor organization to coerce, 
intimidate, threaten, interfere with, or retaliate against any employee 
in the exercise of, or on account of having exercised, any right 
granted or protected by this Act.

SEC. 8. REGULATIONS.

  The Secretary of Labor shall prescribe such regulations as are 
necessary to carry out the amendments made by section 5 not later than 
60 days after the enactment of this Act and shall prescribe such 
regulations as are necessary to carry out the amendments made by 
section 6 not later than 120 days after the enactment of this Act.

SEC. 9. EFFECTIVE DATE AND APPLICATION.

  This Act shall be effective immediately upon enactment, except that 
sections 4 and 5 pertaining to worker consent and notice shall take 
effect 90 days after enactment and section 6 pertaining to disclosure 
shall take effect 150 days after enactment.

                       Explanation of Amendments

    The provisions of the substitute are explained in this 
report.

                                Purpose

    The purpose of H.R. 1625, the Worker Paycheck Fairness Act 
is to ensure that all workers have sufficient information about 
their rights regarding the payment of dues or fees to labor 
organizations and the uses of their dues and fees by labor 
organizations and to ensure that the right of all workers to 
make individual and informed choices about the political, 
social or charitable causes they support is protected to the 
greatest extent possible.

                            Committee Action

    H.R. 1625, the Worker Paycheck Fairness Act, was introduced 
by Representative Harris W. Fawell on May 15, 1997, and has 
over one hundred cosponsors including the entire Republican 
House leadership.
    The Subcommittee on Employer-Employee Relations held a 
hearing on mandatory union dues on March 18, 1997. At that 
hearing, the subcommittee heard from workers from across the 
country who testified about the intimidation, stonewalling and 
deception they have experienced in their attempts to exercise 
their rights, under Communications Workers of America v. 
Beck,\1\ to object to the use of their union dues or fees for 
purposes that were not necessary to collective bargaining. The 
subcommittee also heard from individuals from several 
organizations that had represented workers who had attempted to 
object to the noncollective bargaining use of their union dues 
or fees and they highlighted both the significant challenges 
under the current law and the depth of the frustration workers 
feel with regard to mandatory assessment of union dues and 
fees. Testimony was received from the Honorable Esteban Edward 
Torres, Member of Congress; Jane Gansmann, West Chicago, 
Illinois; Kerry W. Gipe, Matthews, North Carolina; E. Grady 
Thurston, Suisun City, California; Robert A. St. George, St. 
Paul, Minnesota; Bob Williams, President, Evergreen Freedom 
Foundation, Olympia, Washington; Patrick J. Manshardt, 
Attorney, Individual Rights Foundation, Los Angeles, 
California; Morgan O. Reynolds, Professor, Department of 
Economics, Texas A&M University, College Station, Texas; 
Allison Beck, General Counsel, International Association of 
Machinists and Aerospace Workers, AFL-CIO; and James B. 
Coppess, Associate General Counsel, Communications Workers of 
America.
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    \1\ 487 U.S. 735 (1988).
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    The Committee on Education and the Workforce held a hearing 
on H.R. 1625 on July 9, 1997. At the hearing, testimony was 
again received from workers from all over America relating the 
terrible frustration they have experienced in trying to 
exercise their Beck rights under current law. These workers, as 
well as individuals experienced in the legal aspects of 
asserting Beck rights, testified in support of H.R. 1625 and 
indicated it would inject more fairness into the mandatory dues 
collection process. Testimony was received from Kevin Spence, 
Phoenix, Arizona; Charles E. Barth, Cornelius, North Carolina; 
Daniel A. Klosowski, Milwaukee, Wisconsin; Steven J. Nemirow, 
Attorney, Portland, Oregon; Roger Pilon, Director, Center for 
Constitutional Studies, CATO Institute, Washington, DC; 
Marshall J. Breger, Visiting Professor of Law, Columbus School 
of Law, the Catholic University of America, Washington, DC; 
Mitchell Kraus, General Counsel, Transportation Communications 
Union, Rockville, Maryland; and James B. Coppess, Associate 
General Counsel, Communications Workers of America.
    Hearings on mandatory union dues were also held by the 
Subcommittee on Employer-Employee Relations in the 104th 
Congress. On April 18, 1996, the subcommittee received 
testimony from Gary Bloom, Southhaven, Minnesota; James Cecil, 
Clarkston, Michigan; Len Cipressi, Los Angeles, California; 
Gary Dunham, Buffalo, New York; Charles R. Serio, Linthicum, 
Maryland; John Wilson, Neosho, Missouri; Marshall J. Breger, 
Visiting Professor of Law, Columbus School of Law, the Catholic 
University of America, Washington, DC; W. James Young, Staff 
Attorney, National Right to Work Legal Defense Foundation, 
Springfield, Virginia; Victoria Bor, Attorney, Sherman, Dunn, 
Cohen Leifer & Yellig, Washington, DC (testifying on behalf of 
the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers); and Mark 
Schneider, Associate General Counsel, International Association 
of Machinists and Aerospace Workers, AFL-CIO, Washington, DC. 
On June 19, 1996, the subcommittee held a hearing on 
legislation similar to H.R. 1625 that was introduced in the 
104th Congress, H.R. 3580, the Worker Right to Know Act. At 
this hearing, the subcommittee testimony from Mary S. 
Burkholder, Chambersburg, Pennsylvania; William H. Hitchings, 
Chicago, Illinois; Charles W. Baird, Professor of Economics and 
Director, Smith Center for Private Enterprise Studies, 
California State University, Hayward, California; Raymond J. 
LaJeunesse, Staff Attorney, National Right to Work Legal 
Defense Foundation, Springfield, Virginia; Michael A. Taylor, 
Attorney, Powell, Goldstein, Frazer & Murphy, Washington, DC; 
Marshall J. Breger, Visiting Professor of Law, Columbus School 
of Law, the Catholic University of America, Washington, DC; 
James B. Coppess, Associate General Counsel, Communications 
Workers of America; and Helen Gibson, Agency Fee Administrator, 
Communications Workers of America.
    By unanimous consent, the Subcommittee on Employer-Employee 
Relations was discharged from further consideration of H.R. 
1625 on October 8, 1997. On that same date, the Committee on 
Education and the Workforce approved H.R. 1625, as amended, by 
a voice vote, and, also by a voice vote, ordered the bill 
favorably reported.

                            Committee Views

                        Introduction and summary

    Although almost a decade ago, the U.S. Supreme Court 
established that workers who are forced to pay union dues as a 
condition of employment may not be required to pay dues beyond 
those necessary for collective bargaining, Beck \2\ rights have 
remained illusory. To begin, employees must first be aware that 
they have a right to object to non-collective bargaining dues. 
The fact of the matter is that the actual text of the National 
Labor Relations Act, as currently written, still appears to 
permit unions and employers to agree to make union membership 
and payment of full union dues a condition of employment. The 
law also puts the burden on the employee to object to non-
collective bargaining dues and, if no objection is made, the 
employee may be liable for full dues. Further, if an employee 
wants to object to the payment of non-collective bargaining 
dues, the union may require the employee to resign from the 
union and, in the process, the employee loses critical 
workplace rights such as the right to ratify a contract or vote 
to go on strike.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    \2\ Id.
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    If an employee gets this far and decides to affirmatively 
object, the employee must often withstand threats and 
intimidation from coworkers and union officials, only to have 
to renew the objection each year. In sum, the right of an 
employee to object to the payment of any dues beyond those 
necessary for collective bargaining has remained more of a 
legal right than a practical one. The hurdles an employee must 
overcome are many, requiring extreme persistence, knowledge of 
the law, and a willingness to buck the system and give up 
participation in decisions affecting his or her work 
environment.
    The Worker Paycheck Fairness Act addresses each of these 
shortcomings of current law. The legislation creates a new 
requirement in Federal law directing any labor organization 
accepting payment of any dues or fees from an employee as a 
condition of employment pursuant to an agreement authorized by 
Federal law to simply secure from each employee prior, 
voluntary, written authorization for any portion of such dues 
or fees which will be used for non-collective bargaining 
activities. Asking unions to secure up-front consent is widely 
supported by the American people--an October 1997 ABC News/
Washington Post poll found that 82% favor such a requirement. 
The Worker Paycheck Fairness Act includes effective remedial 
provisions modeled on the Family and Medical Leave Act 
providing that any labor organization which failed to secure 
the required authorization would be liable to the affected 
employee for damages equal to two times the amount of the dues 
or fees accepted in violation of the Act together with 
interest. The employee could also recover attorneys' fees and 
costs.
    Unionized employers would be required to post a notice 
informing employees of these new consent requirements. The 
Worker Paycheck Fairness Act also requires more detailed 
financial reporting by labor organizations, gives workers 
paying union dues or fees the same access to financial 
information as union members, and allows any interested party 
to make a written request for financial reports filed with the 
Department of Labor. Consistent with other workplace laws, the 
legislation would also protect workers against coercion or 
retaliation in the exercise of their rights under this Act. The 
Worker Paycheck Fairness Act injects needed fairness into the 
mandatory dues collection process and builds upon the reasoning 
of the Supreme Court in Beck to finally transform the promise 
of that decision into a reality.

              current law fails to protect workers' rights

    A decade ago, the Supreme Court established in 
Communications Workers of America v. Beck \3\ that workers 
cannot be forced under union security clause to pay dues or 
fees to a union beyond those ``necessary to performing the 
duties of an exclusive representative of the employees in 
dealing with the employer on labor-management issues.'' 
Unfortunately, Beck rights as currently constituted have proven 
elusive to the average working American. After receiving 
testimony from numerous workers from all across this nation and 
from a host of organizations that advocate on behalf of 
employees related to their union dues obligation, the Committee 
has concluded that the rights enunciated by the Supreme Court 
in Beck do not offer employees a meaningful right to object to 
union dues or fees not necessary to collective bargaining. The 
problem with Beck rights as currently available are manifold.
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    \3\ 487 U.S. 735, 762 (1988)
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                             lack of notice

    The problems begin with the notice, or lack thereof, that 
employees have of their right under Beck to object to the use 
of compulsory dues for purposes not necessary to collective 
bargaining. As Marshall Breger, former Solicitor for the 
Department of Labor during the Bush administration and 
currently a law professor at Catholic University's Columbus 
School of law, testified: ``There has been considerable 
controversy as regards how non-union agency fee payers are 
expected to learn of their Beck rights. Unions have no specific 
interest in appraising workers of their `refund rights' because 
the use of the refund option reduces their discretionary funds. 
Indeed even some employers believe that it is in their interest 
to reduce the transactions costs under union security 
agreements. Perhaps it is the case that Beck rights have passed 
into the common consciousness of industrial relations--I have 
seen no evidence to sustain that proposition, however.'' \4\
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    \4\ Hearing on Mandatory Assessment of Union Dues, Before the 
Subcommittee on Employer-Employee Relations, 104th Cong. 2nd Sess., at 
12 (April 18, 1996)(Serial No. 104-66).
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    The experiences of the workers who testified before the 
Committee reinforce the conclusions that Mr. Breger articulated 
about the lack of notice. Bill Hitchings, a longtime member of 
the Carpenters' Union, stated: ``[T]he union makes no attempt 
whatsoever to make the membership aware that they have options 
under the Beck ruling * * * I've been deprived of information. 
I don't know whether it's on purposes or just an oversight, but 
when I made objection to [political spending] with my union , 
they certainly never mentioned Beck to me.'' \5\ Similarly, 
Robert St. George, an airline industry worker from St. Paul, 
Minnesota, told the Committee: ``When [the union 
representative] was asked at this meeting if there wasn't some 
way we could just pay for representation, as I remember it, 
[he] made the incredible claim that we could not because 
Minnesota was not a Right to Work State and that can only be 
done in a Right to Work State. [He] would not even tell us 
about our Beck rights when asked.'' \6\
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    \5\ Hearing on H.R. 3580, the Worker Right to Know Act, Before the 
Subcommittee on Employer-Employee Relations, 104th Cong., 2nd Sess., at 
197,363 (June 19, 1996)(Serial No. 104-66).
    \6\ Hearing on Mandatory Union Dues, Before the Subcommittee on 
Employer-Employee Relations, 105th Cong., 1st Sess., at 24 (March 18, 
1997)(Serial No. 105-9).
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Finally, Daniel Klosowski, a broadcast engineer from 
Milwaukee, Wisconsin, testified: ``No one explained to me what 
my obligations for union dues were, nor was I given a copy of 
the contract to read. That should have been the time when my 
obligations were discussed regarding dues, and whether I had 
the choice of even joining the union. This is still the current 
practice used by the stewards today; they do not tell new hires 
what their rights are * * *'' \7\ A poll conducted last year 
for Americans for a Balanced Budget backs up the experiences of 
these workers. The survey found that only 19% of union members 
know that they can object to the use of union dues for non-
collective bargaining purposes.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    \7\ Hearing on H.R. 1625, the Worker Paycheck Fairness Act, Before 
the Committee on Education and the Workforce, 105th Cong., 1st Sess., 
(July 9, 1997)(Statement of Daniel A. Klosowski).
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Neither the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) nor the 
Department of Labor has taken any steps to address this 
widespread lack of notice. In its most comprehensive ruling 
interpreting Beck, the NLRB concluded that it was sufficient 
for the union to print a notice of Beck rights only once a year 
in the inside of its monthly magazine.\8\ Although, why non-
union fee payers are expected to pick up and read the union 
magazine is less than clear. Further, the Board and the current 
Administration have failed to require that Beck notices be 
posted in the workplace. One of President Clinton's initial 
acts upon taking office was to rescind an executive order 
issued by President Bush requiring federal contractors to post 
Beck notices.\9\
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    \8\ California Saw & Knife Works, 320 NLRB No. 11 (Dec. 20, 1995)
    \9\ Executive Order 12836 (February 1,1993) rescinding Executive 
Order 12800 (April 13, 1992).
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                       union resignation required

    Employees who clear this initial hurdle of knowledge of 
their rights under Beck and want to object to the use of their 
union dues for political or social causes are often required to 
resign their membership in the union.\10\ This is not an easy 
thing for many employees to do for a number of reasons. First 
and foremost, as testimony the Committee heard from James 
Young, an attorney with the National Right to Work Legal 
Foundation, points out, unions often either wittingly or 
unwittingly (Mr. Young argues the former) mislead their 
employees on the effect resignation from the union will have on 
their employment, implying that resignation will led to 
discharge.\11\ The text of the collective bargaining agreement 
itself exacerbates this deception as union security clauses 
often require full membership in the union as a condition of 
employment, even though the courts have made it clear that this 
cannot be demanded of employees.\12\
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    \10\ The Beck decision did not address whether or not an employee 
can be required to resign from the union in order to exercise Beck 
rights. In a later decision, the Fourth Circuit Court of Appeals did 
find that employees do not have a right to remain a member of a union 
yet only pay for the costs of union activities necessary to collective 
bargaining. Kidwell v. Transportation Communications International 
Union, 946 F.2d 283 (4th Cir. 1991).
    \11\ Hearing on Mandatory Assessment of Union Dues, Before the 
Subcommittee on Employer-Employee Relations, 104th Cong., 2nd Sess., at 
112 (April 18, 1996)(Serial No. 104-66).
    \12\ National Labor Relations Board v. General Motors Corp., 373 
U.S. 734 (1963).
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    The experiences of several of the workers who testified 
before the Committee buttress the observations made by Mr. 
Young. Gary Bloom, a medical records clerk from Southhaven, 
Minnesota, related his experience as follows: ``[The union 
official] mentioned that as part of the union contract, I must 
become a member of Local 12, 31 days after being hired and if I 
chose not to become a member, she would have no alternative but 
to request that Group health would terminate my employment 
there.'' \13\ Similarly, Kerry Gipe, an airline mechanic from 
Matthews, North Carolina, testified ``I was told that joining 
the union was a mandatory part of working for the company.'' 
\14\
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    \13\ Hearing on Mandatory Assessment of Union Dues, Before the 
Subcommittee on Employer-Employee Relations, 104th Cong., 2nd Sess., at 
26 (April 18, 1996) (Serial No. 104-66).
    \14\ Hearing on Mandatory Union Dues, Before the Subcommittee on 
Employer-Employee Relations, 105th Cong., 1st Sess., at 17 (March 18, 
1997) (Serial No. 105-9).
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

              workers experience intimidation and coercion

    Even for employees who find out the truth, many who object 
to the union's ``extracurricular'' activities may believe that 
union representation brings them benefits in the workplace and 
thus may be reluctant to resign. Some employees may also fear 
the reaction that union resignation may bring from fellow 
employees. Several workers appearing before the Committee 
testified as to the coercion and intimidation they experienced 
once they began to question the orthodoxy of full union 
membership and dues payment. Again, Kerry Gipe told the 
Committee: ``* * * the union began an almost immediate smear 
campaign against us, led by our Local President * * * 
portraying us as scabs, and freeloaders * * *. We had our names 
posted repeatedly on both union property and company property 
accusing us of being scabs. We were thrown out of our local 
union hall, and threatened with physical violence * * *. We 
were accosted at work, we were accosted on the street. We were 
harassed, intimidated, and threatened. We were told that our 
names were being circulated among all union officials in order 
to prevent us from ever being hired into any other union shop 
at any other location. The union membership was told that we 
were refusing to pay any union dues which created a very 
hostile environment among our fellow workers.'' \15\
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    \15\ Hearing on Mandatory Union Dues, Before the Subcommittee on 
Employer-Employee Relations, 105th Cong., 1st Sess., at 15 (March 18, 
1997) (Serial No. 105-9).
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    James Cecil of Clarkston, Michigan, testified that ``the 
union agent wanted to know why I would not sign the check-off 
and join * * * he became angry and asked me who the hell I 
thought I was? Did I think I was some kind of intellectual? Did 
I think I was better than the other workers out there? I told 
him no, but I know what my rights are and I intend to defend 
them * * *. He promised me in no uncertain terms that he would 
bring the full force of his and the other unions down on me if 
I dared to do that * * * I was greatly concerned about 
retaining my job and for my physical well-being.'' \16\
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    \16\ Hearing on Mandatory Assessment of Union Dues, Before the 
Subcommittee on Employer-Employee Relations, 104th Cong., 2nd Sess., at 
29 (April 18, 1996) (Serial No. 104-66.
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                        loss of workplace rights

    Even if one withstands the intimidation and coercion, once 
an employee resigns from the union he or she loses the right to 
have a voice in the myriad decisions made between the exclusive 
bargaining representative and the employer about the terms and 
conditions affecting his or her employment. In most workplaces, 
employees who are part of a bargaining unit that is represented 
by a union, but who are not union members, have no right to 
participate in the internal affairs of the union (e.g. cannot 
vote in union elections), have no right to vote in decisions to 
strike an employer, and have no right to vote to ratify a 
contract offer of an employer. Under a union security 
agreement, a nonmember can be forced--as a condition of 
employment--to pay for the costs of union representation but 
can be denied participation in all decisionmaking with regard 
to what that representation entails.\17\
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    \17\ See Testimony of W. James Young, Hearing on Mandatory 
Assessment of Union Dues, Before the Subcommittee on Employer-Employee 
Relations, 104th Cong., 2nd Sess., at 110-111 (April 18, 1996) (Serial 
No. 104-66).
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Several workers appearing before the Committee expressed 
frustration at the Hobson's choice they were facing. Leonard 
Cipressi from Los Angeles, California told the Committee: 
``When you exercise your Beck rights you don't get to vote on 
contracts that affect you, your family, your peers. Not only 
that, you don't get to exercise free speech because you're not 
allowed to go to union meetings.'' \18\ Gary Dunham described 
the situation under current law as forcing him to ``choose 
between first amendment rights and workplace rights'' and to 
forego his rights to participate in the union and to vote on 
his contract.\19\
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    \18\ Hearing on Mandatory Assessment of Union Dues, Before the 
Subcommittee on Employer-Employee Relations, 104th Cong., 2nd Sess., at 
92 (April 18, 1996) (Serial No. 104-66).
    \19\ Hearing on Mandatory Assessment of Union Dues, Before the 
Subcommittee on Employer-Employee Relations, 104th Cong., 2nd Sess., at 
54 (April 18, 1996) (Serial No. 104-66).
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    The words of the unions themselves speak volumes as to the 
detriment experienced by workers forced to resign from the 
union in order to assert Beck rights. The International 
Association of Machinists and Aerospace Workers (IAM) posted a 
notice in Kerry Gipe's workplace making very clear that ``these 
employees have lost their say in all union activities except 
the right to be represented in accordance with their grievance 
perocedures and strike benefits if they choose not to become a 
scab and cross our picket line.'' The International Brotherhood 
of Electrical Workers (IBEW) union security fee payers 
objection plan provided that: ``Employees who elect to become 
agency fee payers--that is, who choose not to become full-
fledged IBEW members--forfeit the right to enjoy a number of 
benefits available only to full union members. Among the 
benefits available only to full union members are the right to 
attend and participate in union meetings; to nominate and vote 
for candidates for union office; the right to participate in 
contract ratification and strike votes; the right to 
participate in the formulation of IBEW collective bargaining 
demands; and the right to serve as delegates to the 
International Convention.''

                           procedural hurdles

    If the employee is willing to accept these very real 
limitations on his or her role in the workplace, the 
meaningfulness of the employee's right to object to dues being 
used for non-collective bargaining purposes is further diluted 
by the practical obstacles to the exercise of that right. The 
workers who testified before the Committee highlighted some of 
the procedural hurdles--limited window period for making 
objections, annual renewal requirements for objectors, very 
specific requirements regarding mailing objections, objections 
must be made to multiple parties. Again, Kerry Gipe indicated 
that ``the current system of resigning from the union and then 
re-applying annually * * * is a further heavy burden that the 
workers of this country should not be required to bear. This 
practice is clearly intended to make your objection to 
supporting these causes as difficult as possible.'' \20\ 
Charles Serio of Linthicum, Maryland told the Committee: ``No 
matter how scrupulously I followed the policy prescribed by 
CWA, my demands for an agency fee reduction were ignored * * * 
I subsequently received my first agency fee reduction * * * 
more than two years after my initial effort.'' \21\
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    \20\ Hearing on Mandatory Union Dues, Before the Subcommittee on 
Employer-Employee Relations, 105th Cong., 1st Sess., at 15 (March 18, 
1997) (Serial No. 105-9).
    \21\ Hearing on Mandatory Assessment of Union Dues, Before the 
Subcommittee on Employer-Employee Relations, 104th Cong., 2nd Sess., at 
36 (April 18, 1996) (Serial No. 104-66).
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Suffice to say there are not any easy answers for 
employees, whether they are union members or not, who want to 
take issue with the activities of the union that go beyond what 
may be a yeoman's effort by that union in representing 
employees in the workplace. The Committee views these issues as 
ones of basic fairness. So long as unions and employers have 
the unique power under Federal law to divert a portion of a 
worker's salary for collective bargaining expenses under the 
pain of the loss of the worker's job, The Committee has an 
obligation to ensure that workers are treated with respect and 
fairness. Workers have a right to know why money is taken out 
of their paycheck, how money legitimately taken is used, and a 
realistic and available right to stop money from being taken 
out of their paychecks that is not used for legitimate 
collective bargaining purposes. This is exactly what the Worker 
Paycheck Fairness Act is designed to provide.

                    the worker paycheck fairness act

    The Worker Paycheck Fairness Act merely says to unions who 
want to require workers to pay union dues as a condition of 
keeping their jobs, if you want to spend dues for reasons not 
necessary to collective bargaining, (1) get written consent of 
the workers first; and (2) provide better information 
concerning how the dues were spent. The legislation is designed 
to answer the lament of workers like Gary Dunham who told the 
Committee ``This four-year ordeal has opened my eyes to the 
abuse that is possible under current labor law. If I don't pay 
dues or fees to my union, I will be fired. In practical terms, 
my money is being used for causes and ideas I oppose and my 
four-year effort shows me there is nothing I can do to change 
this. So I am turning to you, hoping that you will help me and 
the thousands of other workers who find themselves in a similar 
situation.'' \22\
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    \22\ Hearing on Mandatory Assessment of Union Dues, Before the 
Subcommittee on Employer-Employee Relations, 104th Cong., 2nd Sess., at 
54-55 (April 18, 1996) (Serial No. 104-66).
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    The Worker Paycheck Fairness Act is about common sense and 
basic worker rights. It is not about trying to silence unions 
or interfere with the role they can and should play in the 
political process. This legislation will allow unions to spend 
their money exactly as they currently do. The only difference 
is that individual workers, who provide the lion's share of 
their union's financial resources, must first give their 
written consent before being obligated to pay for those 
expenses that have nothing to do with collective bargaining.

                            up-front consent

    The most dramatic improvement contained in the Worker 
Paycheck Fairness Act is a change to an up-front consent, opt-
in procedure. This stands in contrast to the process under 
current law which requires workers to affirmatively object, 
that is, to opt-out, of paying noncollective bargaining dues, 
and to renew their objection each year. Under the bill, labor 
organizations that accept payment of any dues or fees from 
employees as a condition of employment pursuant to an agreement 
authorized by Federal law must secure from each employee a 
prior, voluntary written authorization for any portion of dues 
or fees used for noncollective bargaining activities. Under 
current law, an agreement requiring the payment of dues or fees 
to a labor organization as a condition of employment--a so-
called union security clause--is permissible both under the 
National Labor Relations Act \23\ and the Railway Labor 
Act.\24\
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    \23\ 29 U.S.C. section 158(a)(3).
    \24\ U.S.C. section 152, Eleventh.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    H.R. 1625 sets forth several specific requirements for the 
terms of the written authorization each designed to ensure that 
workers are well-apprised of their rights and obligations 
regarding the payment of dues or fees to a labor organization. 
The authorization must clearly state that the employee is not 
required to provide the authorization--and thus is not required 
to pay those dues or fees used for noncollective bargaining 
activities. It must also state that if the authorization is 
provided--and thus the employee agrees to pay noncollective 
bargaining dues or fees, the labor organization may use those 
dues or fees for activities that may be political, social or 
charitable in nature.
    The Worker Paycheck Fairness Act also provides that the 
authorization remains effective until revoked and may be 
revoked at anytime upon giving 30 days written notice.
    Much has been made of the fact that H.R. 1625 does not have 
any application to corporations or other membership 
organizations. The Committee believes that there are sound 
policy reasons for drawing a distinction between labor 
organizations utilizing a union security clause and other 
organizations. First of all, the Worker Paycheck Fairness Act 
does not apply to every union. It only applies to those unions 
that have voluntarily chosen to enter into a union security 
clause with an employer requiring employees to pay union dues 
or fees as a condition of employment. Herein lies the critical 
difference between unions and corporations or other membership 
organizations. Unions, by a grant of power from the Federal 
government, can force employees to pay dues to the union as a 
condition of keeping their jobs; corporations cannot force 
individuals to invest in them nor can other membership 
organizations force individuals to join and pay dues.
    The Committee believes that it is entirely fair to balance 
this special ``taxing'' power given to unions with special 
obligations to ensure that employees paying mandatory dues are 
well-informed as to their rights and obligations regarding 
those payments. Here is how a long-time member of the 
Carpenters' Union, Bill Hitchings, drew the distinction between 
unions and corporations:

          ``[A]s a stockholder of AT&T, wouldn't I have the 
        option of divesting myself of that stock without 
        endangering my ability to feed my family, clothe 
        myself, house myself, provide medical care for myself? 
        I mean, we're talking apples and oranges here. I'm 
        talking about my job. I can take money from an 
        investment in AT&T and turn it into another stock if I 
        disagreed terribly with what AT&T is doing with my 
        money. I have no option of joining another carpenters' 
        union. There ain't one.'' \25\
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    \25\ Hearing on Mandatory Assessment of Union Dues, Before the 
Subcommittee on Employer-Employee Relations, 104th Cong., 2nd Sess., at 
362 (April 18, 1996)(Serial No. 104-66).
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

        collective bargaining dues/noncollective bargaining dues

    H.R. 1625 requires that a written authorization be secured 
for any dues or fees which will be used for activities which 
are ``not necessary to performing the duties of the exclusive 
representative of the employees in dealing with the employer on 
labor-management issues.'' This language is taken directly from 
the holding in the Beck decision where the Supreme Court 
stated: ``We conclude that section 8(a)(3) of the National 
Labor Relations Act, like its statutory equivalent, section 2, 
Eleventh of the Railway Labor Act, authorizes the exaction of 
only those dues and fees necessary to performing the duties of 
an exclusive representative of the employees in dealing with 
the employer on labor-management issues.'' \26\
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    \26\ 487 U.S. 735, 762 (1988).
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    The Committee relied on this language from Beck in drafting 
H.R. 1625 because the language most accurately reflects the 
services that a worker is required to pay for when he or she 
must pay dues or fees to a labor organization under a union 
security clause. In short, under the terms of the legislation, 
a line is drawn--reinforcing the line that already exists under 
current law--between collective bargaining dues and 
noncollective bargaining dues. A worker subject to a union 
security clause may be required to pay only those dues or fees 
necessary for collective bargaining. A worker may be asked to 
pay additional dues or fees for noncollective bargaining 
activities, and such dues or fees may be accepted only if the 
union has secured a voluntary written authorization from the 
worker.
    Under the formulation set forth in H.R. 1625, the types of 
activities that a worker could be forced to finance through 
dues or fees paid under a union security clause are only those 
necessary to support the union's activities in representing the 
employees before their employer on labor-management issues. 
Thus, preparations for collective bargaining, negotiating with 
an employer, representing employees in grievances, and dealing 
with contract issues (e.g. determining who would be affected by 
a lay-off under a seniority system, resolving a dispute about 
the parameters of an employer-provided healthcare plan) would 
fall within the duties of the exclusive representative of the 
employees and could be financed with mandatory dues or fees 
without triggering a consent requirement.
    The Committee finds that virtually all political or 
lobbying activity would fall outside the scope of collective 
bargaining expenses and thus would trigger the up-front consent 
requirement. This would include political activity related to 
elections for public office, as well as lobbying on matters of 
public policy. There is significant Supreme Court precedent 
that the former is not chargeable to objecting employees under 
the current Beck rubric.\27\ And, with respect to the latter, 
both the Supreme Court \28\ and lower courts have begun to 
review unions' lobbying expenses for purposes of determining 
whether such expenses fall within the category of collective 
bargaining activities. The Court of Appeals for the District of 
Columbia recently concluded that the Air Line Pilots 
Association could not charge objecting employees for lobbying 
on airline safety issues. The court concluded: ``That the 
subject of safety is taken up in collective bargaining hardly 
renders the unions' government relations expenditures germane. 
Under that reasoning, union lobbying for increased minimum wage 
laws or heightened government regulation of pensions would also 
be germane. Indeed if the union's argument were played out, 
virtually all of its political activities could be connected to 
collective bargaining; but the federal courts, including the 
Supreme Court, have been particularly chary of treating as 
germane union expenditures that touch the political world.'' 
\29\
    Consistent with this decision, it is the Committee's view 
that, while lobbying on matters of public policy (particularly 
with regard to workplace issues) may have some relevance to 
collective bargaining, it is clearly not necessary to 
performing the duties of the exclusive representative of the 
employees in dealing with the employer on labor-management 
issues. Thus, a labor organization would not be able to use any 
portion of an employee's mandatory dues or fees for lobbying 
activities without securing prior consent.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    \27\ See e.g. International Association of Machinists v. Street, 
367 U.S. 740 (1960); Communications Workers of America v. Beck, 487 
U.S. 735 (1988); Lehnert v. Ferris Faculty Association, 500 U.S. 507 
(1991).
    \28\ The Supreme Court in Lehnert indicated that lobbying generally 
was not chargeable to objecting employees; it did intimate that there 
might be a narrow exception where lobbying expenses may be chargeable 
if the lobbying was related to legislative ratification of fiscal 
appropriation for a collective bargaining agreement. While finding that 
the labor legislation lobbying expenses at issue were not chargeable, 
the Special Master suggested in determinations reviewed by the Fourth 
Circuit in the Beck case that some types of lobbying may be chargeable. 
776 F.2d 1187 (4th Cir. 1985), en banc, 800 F.2d 1280. Although the 
Appeals Court agreed with the Special Master's disallowance of the 
lobbying expenses at issue, neither the Fourth Circuit nor the Supreme 
Court addressed the issue of legislative lobbying on workplace issues. 
Most other decisions speak in general terms about political or 
ideological activities being not chargeable. See e.g. International 
Association of Machinists v. Street, 367 U.S. 740 (1960); Chicago 
Teachers Union v. Hudson, 475 U.S. 292 (1986).
    \29\ Miller v. Air Line Pilots Association, 108 F.3d 1415 (D.C.Cir. 
1997).
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Similarly, the Committee finds that organizing activity is 
not necessary to collective bargaining and thus triggers the 
requirement for a written authorization. This is consistent 
with the reasoning of the Supreme Court in Ellis v. Brotherhood 
of Railway Clerks, \30\ finding that organizing is not 
chargeable to objecting employees because it has only the most 
attenuated benefit to collective bargaining on behalf of the 
fee payer. The committee would note that it views with disfavor 
the recent National Labor Relations Board ruling on this point 
that runs counter to the Ellis holding. See International 
Brotherhood of Teamsters, Local 443, NLRB Case 34-CB-1763 
(October 2, 1997).
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    \30\ 466 U.S. 435 (1984)
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Other types of activities that fall outside the formulation 
of collective bargaining activities and thus trigger the up 
front consent requirement include contributions to charitable 
organizations \31\ or social causes and union-sponsored social 
or cultural events. \32\
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    \31\ This is consistent with Lehnert v. Ferris Faculty Association, 
500 U.S. 507 (1991), where the Supreme Court found that a contribution 
from a local union to its parent that was not part of the local's 
responsibilities was more in the nature of a charitable contribution 
and thus was not chargeable to objecting employees.
    \32\ In this regard, the Committee would disagree with the Supreme 
Court's conclusion in Ellis v. Brotherhood of Railway Clerks, 466 U.S. 
435 (1984), that the expenses for various social activities were 
chargeable. Although the Court emphasized the de minimis nature of the 
expenses, the Committee believes that social events are not necessary 
to performing the duties of the exclusive representative of the 
employees in dealing with the employer on labor-management issues.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

                                REMEDIES

    The Worker Paycheck Fairness Act includes a comprehensive 
remedial scheme modeled on that of the Family and Medical Leave 
Act. Where a labor organization fails to get the necessary 
authorization and spends dues or fees paid under a union 
security clause on noncollective bargaining activities, the 
legislation allows a worker to sue individually or as part of a 
class in any Federal or state court. The labor organization 
would be liable for damages equal to double the amount of the 
dues or fees accepted in violation of the legislation plus 
interest calculated at the prevailing rate. In addition, a 
court could award attorney's fees and costs as well as such 
equitable relief as may be appropriate.
    The remedial provisions of H.R. 1625 are central to its 
effectiveness. One of the problems with current law under Beck 
is that employees are either unable to pursue their claims in 
court because of a lack of resources or because they are 
enmeshed in the morass of the National Labor Relations Board. 
As Roger Pilon of the CATO Institute testified to the 
Committee: ``The enforcement provisions of [H.R. 1625), 
especially the provisions for fees and costs are a welcome 
improvement. Were the fees and costs subsection to be stripped 
subsequently from the bill, however, I cannot imagine how the 
average worker, absent pro bono assistance, could vindicate his 
rights. It is imperative, therefore, that this provision be 
kept in the bill--not least because the bill arises in the 
first place from the practical problems that surround the 
enforcement of Beck rights.'' \33\
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    \33\ Hearing on H.R. 1625, the Worker Paycheck Fairness Act, Before 
the Committee on Education and the Workforce, 105th Cong., 1st Sess., 
(July 9, 1997) (Statement of Roger Pilon).
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    If its determinations as to which expenses were related to 
collective bargaining and which are not is challenged in court, 
the labor organization would bear the burden of persuasion in 
demonstrating that it properly spent the mandatory dues or fees 
solely on activities necessary for performing its duty as the 
employee's representative before the employer.\34\ In other 
words, the union would have to demonstrate that it secured 
consent for any dues spent for noncollective bargaining 
activities. And, where consent was not secured, the union would 
have to show that its expenses were limited to collective 
bargaining activities. The D.C. Circuit recently concluded that 
Beck challenges under the National Labor Relations Act required 
an independent audit of the union's calculations of reductions 
in agency fee payments finding that such an audit was the 
``minimal guarantee of trustworthiness.'' \35\ The committee 
feels that a similar requirement would be appropriate under the 
Worker Paycheck Fairness Act.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    \34\ This is consistent with the case law that led to the Beck  
decision. See Railway Clerks v. Allen, 373 U.S. 113 (1963).
    \35\ Ferriso v. National Labor Relations Board, CA DC, No. 96-1321 
(September 23, 1997).
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

                                 Notice

    H.R. 1625 requires all unionized employers to post a notice 
in their workplaces informing employees that any labor 
organization accepting payment of any dues or fees from an 
employee as a condition of employment pursuant to an agreement 
authorized by Federal law must secure from each employee prior, 
written authorization if any portion of such dues or fees will 
be used for activities not necessary to performing the duties 
of the exclusive representative of the employees in dealing 
with the employer on labor-management issues. Although labor 
organizations would be notifying employees of these rights as 
they attempt to secure consent from individual workers for 
noncollective bargaining dues, this posting requirement will 
serve the purpose of reiterating to employees what the 
respective obligations are of workers and unions under the 
Worker Paycheck Fairness Act. It is similar to the posting 
requirement demanded of federal contractors under an Executive 
Order issued by President Bush in 1992 \36\ and later rescinded 
by President Clinton.\37\
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    \36\ Executive Order 12800 (April 13, 1992).
    \37\ Executive Order 12836 (February 1, 1993).
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

                               disclosure

    The Committee's numerous hearings found the reporting and 
disclosure of union financial information under current law to 
be entirely inadequate. As stated by Marshall J. Breger, 
professor of law at Catholic University's Columbus School of 
Law, in testimony before the Committee, the information unions 
must currently provide to the Department of Labor is ``not 
particularly useful in giving union members or anybody a full 
understanding of the purposes for which the union is spending 
its money.'' \38\ Furthermore, Breger testified, ``Individual 
union members have had great difficulty in getting information 
and in testing the accuracy of the information given them.'' 
\39\ H.R. 1625 amends the Labor-Management Reporting and 
Disclosure Act (LMRDA) of 1959 \40\ to require more detailed 
financial reporting by labor organizations, to provide workers 
paying union dues or fees the same access to financial 
information as union members, and to give any interested party 
the right to make a written request for financial reports filed 
under the LMRDA.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    \38\ April 18, 1996 oral testimony of Marshall J. Breger before the 
Employer-Employee Relations Subcommittee of the House Committee on 
Education and the Workforce.
    \39\ June 19, 1996 oral testimony of Marshall J. Breger before the 
Employer-Employee Relations Subcommittee of the House Committee on 
Education and the Workforce.
    \40\ 29 U.S.C. 401, et seq.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Section 6(a) amends Section 201(b) of the Labor-Management 
Reporting and Disclosure Act of 1959 by adding at the end the 
following new sentence: ``Every labor organization shall be 
required to attribute and report expenses in such detail as 
necessary to allow members to determine whether such expenses 
were necessary to performing the duties of the exclusive 
representative of the employees in dealing with the employer of 
labor-management issues.''
    Title II of the LMRDA, also known as the Landrum-Griffin 
Act, requires that unions file annual financial, known as LM 
reports, with the Department of Labor. The goal for the 
reporting of expenditures under the LMRDA should be complete 
transparency and full disclosure. Unfortunately, the current 
LM-2 form \41\ only requires unions to file yearly their income 
and expenses according to what accountants call an ``object 
classification''--which identifies expense categories, such as 
salary, rent, transportation, etc., and requires unions to 
indicate simply the amount of money spent in those categories. 
While this provides a flat dollar amount spent on certain 
items, it does not allow anyone looking at the form to 
determine the purpose for which the money was being used. 
Section 6 of H.R. 1625 recognizes that the more a dues payer 
knows about the purposes for which a union spends its money the 
better able he or she is to decide whether to elect to allow 
his or her money to be spent on noncollective bargaining 
activities
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    \41\ Unions having $200,000 or more in gross annual receipts must 
file with the Department of Labor an ``LM-2'' form. Unions which have 
gross annual receipts totaling less than $200,000 for its fiscal year 
may elect to file an ``LM-3'' form. If a union has gross annual 
receipts totaling less than $10,000 for its fiscal year, it may elect 
to file an ``LM-4'' form. 29 CFR Part 403.4 The Department of Labor 
receives more than 35,000 forms each year.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    The intent of this provision is to mandate that unions file 
such information by ``functional classification'' \42\--setting 
forth the purposes for which the money was being used--in a 
manner similar to rules proposed by the Bush administration. In 
April 1992, the Department of Labor issued a Notice of Proposed 
Rulemaking \43\ proposing to revise the various financial 
report forms unions must file with the DOL yearly to reflect 
various functional categories. These rules, which the Committee 
intends the rules promulgated under Section 6 of H.R. 1625 to 
be modeled after, designated the following eight functions: 
contract negotiation and administration; organizing; safety and 
health; strike activities; political activities; lobbying; 
promotional activities; and other. \44\ In addition, the 
Committee would urge that a ninth category be created for 
charitable contributions to cover all contributions by the 
labor organization to tax-exempt and other charitable/social 
organizations. The testimony the Committee received from 
workers indicated that they often differed with their union's 
choices regarding which charitable/social groups to support as 
much as they differed with the union's political choices.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    \42\ A need for functional reporting was recognized as far back as 
1978, when the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants 
(AICPA) encouraged labor organizations to report on a functional basis. 
See 57 FR 14244 at 14245 (April 17, 1992).
    \43\ Id. at 14244--14246.
    \44\ In issuing its proposed rules, the Department of Labor found 
that a rule requiring ``functional'' reporting did not constitute a 
``major rule'' in that it would not have an annual effect on the 
economy of $100 million or more--thus, no regulatory impact analysis 
was prepared or was necessary. 57 FR at 14246.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    The Committee envisions that each expense item contained on 
the LM-2 would be further broken down with these nine 
functions. It is more helpful or dues payers to know not simply 
the amount of money being spent for travel, for example, but 
whether that travel was undertaken for organizing, contract 
administration, collective bargaining, strike activities, 
political activities or lobbying and promotional activities. 
This is the sort of detailed information workers need to find 
out how the money they pay to the union is actually being 
spent. For activities that clearly fall outside the ``core'' 
union activities of collective bargaining, contract 
administration and grievance adjustment--such as for politics, 
charitable contributions, social causes, think tanks, etc.--the 
more detailed disclosure requirements would serve not only to 
educate all dues payers, but would also readily alert dues 
payers laboring under a union security agreement that their 
prior consent in required for any such expenditures.
    Following the Department of Labor's issuance of final rules 
in October 1992,\45\ the Clinton administration in December 
1993 issued final rules rejecting the Bush administration's 
proposed changes pertaining to filing--rescinding the 
functional reporting requirements and causing the current LM-
forms to remain basically the same as when the program began in 
1960.\46\ As pointed out by Breger, in testimony before the 
Committee, the reporting rules promulgated after the LMRDA was 
passed nearly 40 years ago were ``cut to the trim of 
technological feasibility.'' \47\ In contrast, today's computer 
software, Breger testified, allows labor organizations to more 
easily provide extensive and useful information to dues 
payers.\48\
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    \45\ 57 FR 49282-49290 (October 30, 1992).
    \46\ 58 FR 67594-67604 (December 21, 1993).
    \47\ June 19, 1996 written testimony of Marshall J. Breger before 
the Employer-Employee Relations Subcommittee of the House Committee on 
Education and the Workforce, p. 9.
    \48\ Id.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Section 6(b) amends LMRDA Section 201(c) to ensure that a 
labor organization's obligation to make available to all of its 
members the information contained in reports it must file with 
the Department of Labor pursuant to the LMRDA extends to 
``employees required to pay any dues or fees to such 
organization'' as well as to ``members.'' All dues payers, not 
just union members, are entitled to the LMRDA's guarantee of 
access to the information unions use to meet their reporting 
obligations. Section 6(b) ensures this entitlement. Section 
6(b) also extends to ``employees required to pay any dues or 
fees to such organization'' the right granted to ``members'' 
under the LMRDA to sue any labor organization in any state 
court of competent jurisdiction or in the district court of the 
United States for the district in which such labor organization 
maintains its principal office, to permit such employee for 
just cause to examine any books, records, and accounts 
necessary to verify any report the labor organization must file 
pursuant to the LMRDA.
    Section 6(c) amends LMRDA section 205(b) to make clear that 
any person may write the Department of Labor to receive a 
complete copy of any report or other document the labor 
organization must file pursuant to LMRDA section 201, which 
includes, among other information required by section 201 
(a)(1)-(a)(5), the labor organization's constitution and bylaws 
and annual financial report. As pointed out to the Committee in 
July 9, 1997 testimony from Marshall J. Breger, the tens of 
thousands of LM-2 disclosure statements are currently kept on 
file in Washington, DC at the Department of Labor's Office of 
Labor-Management Standards (OLMS). These reports, Breger 
testified, ``are not retrievable by computer and are available 
only on the OLMS's receipt of a five-digit file number 
corresponding to the file.'' \49\ The public, Breger noted, 
must attempt to find files numbers in a reference book last 
published in 1990. ``Many of the file numbers are not 
updated,'' Breger said, ``which makes finding some files 
practically impossible. In addition, their are significant 
restrictions on the number of files that can be examined or 
photocopied per day. Thus, the Department's existing disclosure 
leaves much to be desired.'' \50\ Section 6(c) of H.R. 1625 is 
necessary to ensure the public's access to this critical 
information which is fundamental to union democracy.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    \49\ July 9, 1997 written testimony of Marshall J. Breger before 
the Employer-Employee Relations Subcommittee of the House Committee on 
Education and the Workforce, p. 8.
    \50\ Id. at 8-9.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

                       anti-retaliation/Coercion

    The Worker Paycheck Fairness Act makes it unlawful for any 
labor organization to coerce, intimidate, threaten, interfere 
with, or retaliate against any employee in the exercise of, or 
on account of having exercised, any right granted or protected 
by the legislation. This prohibition on retaliation would 
prevent a union from intimidating or taking any adverse action 
against an employee because he or she exercised rights of 
consent under the Act. It would also prevent unions from 
forcing workers to resign their union membership--and in the 
process, to give up critical workplace rights such as the right 
to vote on ratifying contracts or approving strikes--in order 
to exercise their rights under the bill.
    The anti-retaliation provision responds to the earlier-
cited testimony of many workers who spoke of the harassment and 
intimidation some unions use to pressure employees to not 
exercise their rights regarding the payment of union dues. Such 
a provision, which would send a signal that this type of 
conduct will no longer be tolerated, is a common feature in 
employment rights laws. The language of the anti-retaliation 
provision is modeled after that found in section 503 of the 
Americans with Disabilities Act and in section 704 of Title VII 
of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, and is consistent with the 
provisions of section 7 of the NationalLabor Relations Act and 
the protections of section 105 of the Family and Medical Leave Act. Any 
union guilty of coercing an employee in deciding whether to give 
consent to the use of dues for political, social, civic or other non-
collective bargaining purposes, or of retaliating against an employee 
for declining to give consent, would be liable to the employee in 
accordance with the previously outlined remedial provisions.
    In addition to the more typical types of harassment and 
coercion, the prohibition on retaliation would prevent a union 
from expelling a member who refused to give consent to the use 
of his dues for noncollective bargaining purposes. Thus, the 
provision would overrule the decision of the Fourth Circuit in 
Kidwell v. Transportation Communications International 
Union.\51\ In that decision, the court confronted the issue of 
whether the union had to permit union members to exercise their 
Beck rights and thus allow them to pay reduced fees. While the 
court was sympathetic to Kidwell's argument that she should not 
have to resign from the union because in doing so she would 
have to give up participation in certain union activities that 
have an impact on the conditions of her employment (for 
example, ratification of the collective bargaining agreement), 
the court held, interpreting Beck and other cases, that the 
union could require a union member to resign from the union if 
he or she wished to exercise Beck rights.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    \51\ 946 F.2d 283 (4th Cir. 1991).
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    The Committee believes that the reasoning of the district 
court in the Kidwell case--the lower court decision was 
reversed by the Fourth Circuit--more fairly balances the rights 
of dissenting workers and the needs of the union as the 
exclusive bargaining representative. In findings that even a 
union member was entitled to a reduction in her union dues for 
all union expenses unrelated to collective bargaining, the 
district court concluded that ``when the union strays from that 
charter given by the Railway Labor Act * * * and uses dues to 
support candidates, religious beliefs, or any other ideological 
cause, it is not an answer to say to one who is opposed to 
those views, `leave the union'.'' \52\ Like the Committee, the 
district court was persuaded that it was not fair to ask union 
members to choose between their workplace rights and their free 
speech rights. The Worker Paycheck Fairness Act protects the 
basic rights of both members and nonmembers of the union by 
giving both an equal ability to exercise their rights under the 
legislation without fear of retribution.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    \52\ 731 F.Supp 192 Md. 1989).
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

                               conclusion

    So long as labor organizations and employers have the 
unique power under Federal law to force workers to pay dues or 
fees to a union under the pain of the loss of the worker's job, 
the Committee believes that the law must ensure that workers 
have the fullest information possible as to their rights and 
responsibilities regarding those payments. Workers have a right 
to know why money is taken out of their paycheck, how money 
legitimately taken is used, and a realistic and available right 
to stop money from being taken out of their paychecks that is 
not used for legitimate collective bargaining purposes. An 
October 1997 ABC News/Washington Post poll and a CNN/USA Today/
Gallup poll revealed that 82% and 72%, respectively, of those 
surveyed agreed that unions should be required to get written 
permission from each worker prior to using dues money for 
political purposes. This is exactly what the Worker Paycheck 
Fairness Act is designed to provide.
    The Worker Paycheck Fairness Act merely says to unions who 
want to require workers to pay union dues as a condition of 
keeping their jobs, if you want to spend dues for reasons not 
necessary to collective bargaining, (1) get written consent of 
the workers first; and (2) provide better information 
concerning how the dues were spent. This isn't too much to ask.

                                Summary

    H.R. 1625, the Worker Paycheck Fairness Act, creates a 
free-standing statute which would require labor organizations 
that accept payment of any dues or fees from an employee as a 
condition of employment pursuant to Federal law to secure from 
each employee prior, voluntary, written authorization for any 
portion of such dues or fees which will be used for activities 
not necessary to performing the duties of the exclusive 
representative of the employees in dealing with the employer on 
labor-management issues. The legislation provides that such an 
authorization is effective until revoked and may be revoked 
upon giving 30 days written notice. H.R. 1625 gives workers 
enforcement rights modeled on those granted by the Family and 
Medical Leave Act. Under the legislation, if a labor 
organization fails to get the employee's authorization but 
violates the law by using dues or fees for noncollective 
bargaining purposes, the employee may file an individual or 
class action lawsuit in Federal or State court to recover 
double the amount of dues or fees illegally accepted, as well 
as attorney's fees, costs of litigation, and any appropriate 
equitable relief.
    The bill also requires unionized employers to post a notice 
telling employees of their right to be asked permission should 
the union want to spend any portion of their dues or fees on 
non-collective bargaining activities. Finally, H.R. 1625 amends 
the Labor Management Reporting and Disclosure Act (LMRDA) to 
make it easier for workers to give their informed consent by 
requiring more detailed financial reporting by labor 
organizations, providing workers paying union dues or fees the 
same access to financial information as union members, and 
giving any interested party the right to make a written request 
for financial reports filed under the LMRDA.

                      Section-By-Section Analysis

                              section one

    Provides that the short title of the bill is the ``Worker 
Paycheck Fairness Act.''

                              section two

    Establishes the findings of the Committee related to the 
rights of workers paying dues or fees to a labor organization, 
the uses of dues or fees by labor organizations, and the rights 
of individuals regarding the political, social and charitable 
causes they support.

                             section three

    Provides that the purpose of the Act is to ensure that all 
workers have sufficient information about their rights 
regarding the payment of dues or fees to labor organizations 
and the uses of their dues and fees by labor organizations and 
to ensure that the right of all workers to make individual and 
informed choices about the political, social or charitable 
causes they support is protected to the greatest extent 
possible.

                              section four

    Provides that any labor organization accepting any payment 
of dues or fees from an employee as a condition of employment 
pursuant to Federal law must secure from each employee prior, 
voluntary, written authorization for any portion of such dues 
or fees which will be used for activities not necessary to 
performing the duties of the exclusive representative of the 
employees in dealing with the employer on labor-management 
issues. Also provides that such an authorization shall remain 
in effect until revoked and may be revoked upon giving 30 days 
written notice. Also provides for a civil action by employees 
and specifies the liability of labor organizations that violate 
the terms of the Act.

                              section five

    Requires employers whose employees are represented by a 
collective bargaining representative to post a notice informing 
employees that any labor organization accepting any payment of 
dues or fees from an employee as a condition of employment 
pursuant to Federal law must secure from each employee prior, 
voluntary, written authorization for any portion of such dues 
or fees which will be used for activities not necessary to 
performing the duties of the exclusive representative of the 
employees in dealing with the employer on labor-management 
issues.

                              section six

    Amends the Labor-Management Reporting and Disclosure Act 
(LMRDA) to require more detailed financial reporting by labor 
organizations, to provide workers paying union dues or fees the 
same access to financial information as union members, and to 
give any interested party the right to make a written request 
for financial reports filed under the LMRDA.

                             section seven

    Provides that it is unlawful for a labor organization to 
coerce, intimidate, threaten, interfere with, or retaliate 
against any employee in the exercise of, or on account of 
having exercised, any right granted or protected by this Act.

                             section eight

    Authorizes the Secretary of Labor to prescribe regulations 
to implement sections five and six.

                              section nine

    Provides that the Act shall be effective immediately upon 
enactment, except that sections 4 and 5 shall take effect 90 
days after enactment and section 6 shall take effect 150 days 
after enactment.

                  Oversight Findings of the Committee

    In compliance with clause 2(1)(3)(A) of rule XI of the 
Rules of the House of Representatives and clause 2(b)(1) of 
rule X of the Rules of the House of Representatives, the 
Committee's oversight findings and recommendations are 
reflected in the body of this report.

                    Government Reform and Oversight

    With respect to the requirement of clause 2(1)(3)(D) of 
Rule XI of the Rules of the House of Representatives, the 
Committee has received no report of oversight findings and 
recommendations from the Committee on Government Reform and 
Oversight on the subject of H.R. 1625.

                           Committee Estimate

    Clause 7 of rule XIII of the Rules of the House of 
Representatives requires an estimate and a comparison by the 
Committee of the costs which would be incurred in carrying out 
H.R. 1625. However, clause 7(d) of that rule provides that this 
requirement does not apply when the Committee has included in 
its report a timely submitted cost estimate of the bill 
prepared by the Director of the Congressional Budget Office 
under section 403 of the Congressional Budget Act of 1974.

                        Constitutional Authority

    H.R. 1625, the Worker Paycheck Fairness Act, provides 
rights to workers subject to union security agreements 
negotiated under the National Labor Relations Act (NLRA) and 
the Railway Labor Act (RLA). Both the RLA \53\ and the NLRA 
\54\ have been determined, by the Supreme Court, to be within 
Congress' Constitutional authority. Because the Worker Paycheck 
Fairness Act places additional restrictions on the use of dues 
or fees paid to labor organizations pursuant to union security 
clauses under the NLRA and RLA, the legislation is similarly 
within the scope of Congressional powers under Article I, 
Section 8, Clause 3 of the Constitution of the United States.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    \53\ Texas & New Orleans Railroad v. Brotherhood of Railway & 
Steamship Clerks, 281 U.S. 548 (1930).
    \54\ National Labor Relations Board v. Jones & Laughlin Steel 
Corp., 301 U.S. 1 (1937).
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

                Application of Law to Legislative Branch

    Section 102(b)(3) of Public Law 104-1, the Congressional 
Accountability Act (CAA), requires a description of the 
application of this bill to the legislative branch. H.R. 1625 
creates a right on behalf of all workers who pay dues or fees 
to a labor organization as a condition of employment pursuant 
to an agreement authorized by Federal law. Thus, the bill would 
apply to legislative branch employees to the extent that they 
are subject to union security agreements authorized by Federal 
law requiring the payment of union dues or fees. However, the 
labor relations of legislative branch employees are governed by 
the Federal Labor Relations Act which currently does not permit 
the negotiation of a union security clause. While the rights 
created by section 1625 do not inure to legislative branch 
employees at this time, they would be available should the 
Federal Labor Relations Act be amended, or a separate law 
enacted, allowing the negotiation of a union security clause.

                       Unfunded Mandate Statement

    Section 423 of the Congressional Budget & Impoundment 
Control Act requires a statement of whether the provisions of 
the reported bill include unfunded mandates. The Committee 
received a letter regarding unfunded mandates from the Director 
of the Congressional Budget Office. See infra.

     Budget Authority and Congressional Budget Office Cost Estimate

    With respect to the requirement of clause 2(1)(3)(B) of 
rule XI of the House of Representatives and section 308(a) of 
the Congressional Budget Act of 1974 and with respect to 
requirements of clause 2(1)(3)(C) of rule XI of the House of 
Representatives and section 403 of the Congressional Budget Act 
of 1974, the Committee has received the following cost estimate 
for H.R. 1625 from the Director of the Congressional Budget 
Office:
                                     U.S. Congress,
                               Congressional Budget Office,
                                  Washington, DC, October 24, 1997.
Hon. William F. Goodling,
Chairman, Committee on Education and the Workforce, U.S. House of 
        Representatives, Washington, DC.
    Dear Mr. Chairman: The Congressional Budget Office has 
prepared the enclosed cost estimate for H.R. 1625, the Worker 
Paycheck Fairness Act.
    If you wish further details on this estimate, we will be 
pleased to provide them. The CBO staff contact is Christina 
Hawley Sadoti.
            Sincerely,
                                              James L. Blum
                                   (For June E. O'Neill, Director).
    Enclosure.

H.R. 1625--Worker Paycheck Fairness Act

    Summary: H.R. 1625 would place new requirements on unions 
and employers relating to the payment of union dues and fees by 
workers. The bill would require labor organizations with union 
security agreements to obtain prior written authorization from 
workers for any portion of their dues or fees that are used for 
non-representational activities. It would require labor 
organizations to report separately their expenses for 
representational and nonrepresentational activities on 
financial disclosure forms filed with the Department of Labor 
(DoL). The bill would also require all employers with workers 
who are represented by unions to post notices regarding their 
union's duty to obtain authorization before accepting required 
dues or fees that are partially used to fund non-
representational activities. CBO estimates that enacting H.R. 
1625 would result in increased costs to the Office of Labor-
Management Standards (OLMS) in the Department of Labor of about 
$2 million per year beginning in fiscal year 1998 and about $9 
million over the 1998-2002 period, assuming that appropriations 
are made accordingly. Because the bill would not affect direct 
spending or receipts, pay-as-you-go procedures would not apply.
    H.R. 1625 contains both intergovernmental and private-
sector mandates, as defined in the Unfunded Mandates Reform Act 
(UMRA). CBO estimates that complying with these mandates would 
impose no significant costs on state, local, or tribal 
governments. CBO is uncertain whether the direct costs of 
complying with the private sector mandates would exceed the 
threshold specified in UMRA in the first year the bill would be 
effective. CBO estimates that the direct cost of those mandates 
would not exceed the threshold in subsequent years.
    Estimated cost to the Federal Government: H.R. 1625 would 
require labor organizations to provide more information in 
financial disclosure forms which they file with the Department 
of Labor. In 1996, about 33,600 labor organizations filed such 
forms. H.R. 1625 would require OLMS to develop new forms for 
these organizations to use. In addition, OLMS would need to 
provide compliance assistance and training on these new forms 
and would experience an increase in case processing costs. In 
1992, the Bush administration sought to make changes similar to 
those provided for in H.R. 1625 through administrative action. 
At that time, OLMS estimated the additional costs of developing 
new forms, providing new forms, providing necessary compliance 
assistance, and processing cases at $1.35 million per year. 
Adjusted for inflation, these costs would be about $1.6 million 
in fiscal year 1998 and slightly larger amounts each year 
thereafter.
    H.R. 1625 also would require employers of workers who are 
covered by collective bargaining agreements to post notices 
regarding their union's responsibility to obtain authorization 
in order to spend a portion of their dues or fees on non-
representational activities. Currently, employers are required 
to post notices regarding minimum wage and maximum hour 
requirements, equal opportunity and anti-discrimination 
provisions, and other information regarding workplace safety. 
The federal costs of requiring some employers to post 
additional information would not be significant.
    The costs of this legislation fall within budget function 
500 (education, training, employment, and social services). The 
estimated budgetary impact of H.R. 1625 is shown in the 
following table.

                                     ESTIMATED BUDGETARY IMPACT OF H.R. 1625                                    
                                    [By fiscal year, in millions of dollars]                                    
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
                                                         1998        1999        2000        2001        2002   
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
                                         WITH ADJUSTMENTS FOR INFLATION                                         
Authorizations of appropriations under current law:                                                             
    Estimated authorization.........................         299         310         321         332         344
    Estimatd outlays................................         297         308         319         330         342
Proposed changes:                                                                                               
    Estimated authorization.........................           2           2           2           2           2
    Estimatd outlays................................           1           2           2           2           2
Authorizations of appropriations under H.R. 1625:                                                               
    Estimated authorization.........................         301         312         323         325         346
    Estimatd outlays................................         298         310         321         332         344
                                        WITHOUT ADJUSTMENTS FOR INFLATION                                       
Authorizations of appropriations under current law:                                                             
    Estimated authorization.........................         299         299         299         299         299
    Estimatd outlays................................         297         299         299         299         299
Proposed changes:                                                                                               
    Estimated authorization.........................           2           2           2           2           2
    Estimatd outlays................................           1           2           2           2           2
Authorizations of appropriations under H.R. 1625:                                                               
    Estimated authorization.........................         301         301         301         301         301
    Estimatd outlays................................         298         301         301         301         301
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Notes: Spending under current law is based on the level provided for the Employment Standards Administration in 
  the House-passed version of the Labor-HHS appropriations bill for 1998.                                       
Components may not sum to totals because of rounding.                                                           

    Pay-as-you-go considerations: None.
    Estimated impact on State, local and tribal governments: 
H.R. 1625 contains two intergovernmental mandates as defined in 
UMRA. The bill would require employers (including state, local, 
and tribal governments) that allow collective bargaining to 
post notices informing employees of their new rights under the 
bill. The bill would also require state courts to impose 
certain remedies for violations of employee's rights under the 
bill. Based on Census data and information from the American 
Federation of State, County, and Municipal Employees, CBO 
estimates that even if all state, local, and tribal governments 
in states that allow collective bargaining were required to 
post notices, compliance costs would not be significant. The 
new requirements on state courts would not result in any 
additional costs because they simply specify certain elements 
of judgments to be awarded by the courts.
    Estimated impact on the private sector: H.R. 1625 would 
impose two new private sector mandates--one on labor 
organizations and one on employers--and would expand an 
existing mandate on unions. CBO has been unable to obtain 
sufficient data to determine whether the aggregate direct cost 
of the three mandates in H.R. 1625 would exceed the statutory 
threshold specified in UMRA ($100 million in 1996, adjusted 
annually for inflation) during the first year the mandates 
would be effective. In each case, the cost of the mandate 
declines substantially after the first year, and CBO estimates 
that the aggregate direct cost of the mandates in the second 
through fifth years would not exceed the statutory threshold.
    First, the bill would require labor organizations with 
union security agreements (which require union and nonunion 
members to pay dues or fees to the union as a condition of 
employment) to obtain prior written authorization from workers 
for any portion of those payments to be used for activities 
other than employee representation. (Representation activities 
include collective bargaining, contract administration, and 
grievance adjustment; non-representational activities include 
advertising not related to representational matters, union 
organizing, lobbying, political activities, and litigation that 
does not directly concern the bargaining unit.) In 1988, the 
Supreme Court decided in Communication Workers of America v. 
Beck that non-union members are required to pay dues or fees to 
a union need only pay for the share of union expenses going for 
representational activities. To exercise this right, however, 
the workers must formally object to the payment of higher fees.
    The cost of this mandate would be greatest in the first 
year it was effective because authorizations would need to be 
requested from all current workers. In subsequent years, 
authorizations would need to be requested only from new 
workers, which could occur during the normal hiring process. 
The first-year cost to the unions would depend on the number of 
workers from whom authorizations would be requested and the 
average cost to the union of requesting an authorization. 
Little information exists on either of these quantities. Only 
29 states currently allow union security agreements, and in 
1996 a total of 13.2 million union members were employed in 
those states. An additional 1.9 million non-union members 
nationwide were represented by unions. The number of workers 
who were actually employed under union security agreements is 
unknown. Furthermore, not all of the workers employed under 
union security agreements would be requested to provide 
authorizations. Unions that spend significant portions of their 
funds on nonrepresentational activities would find it 
advantageous to obtain authorizations from workers. However, 
the prevalence and magnitude of spending on nonrepresentational 
activities is not known.
    Second, the bill would increase financial reporting 
requirements on labor organizations by requiring them to report 
separately their expenses for representational and 
nonrepresentational activities. Under current law, labor 
organizations must file financial disclosure forms with the 
Department of Labor. Those forms include information on assets, 
liabilities, disbursements to union officers, receipts, and 
other expenditures, but they do not include information on the 
purposes for which expenditures are made.
    All labor organizations that currently file financial 
disclosure forms with the Department of Labor would have to 
comply with the bill's reporting requirements. In 1996, there 
were 33,600 such labor organizations. The cost of the reporting 
requirements would vary with the type, size, and activities of 
labor organizations, but most of this information is not 
available. These costs would be greatest the first year the 
requirement would be in effect because many labor organizations 
would have to set up new reporting and accounting systems. In 
following years, the cost of producing a report would be 
relatively low. For some unions with union security agreements, 
the initial cost of the reporting requirements might not be 
large, because under current law they must disclose their 
nonrepresentational expenses and calculate reduced fees for 
nonmembers who formally object to paying for such expenses.
    Finally, H.R. 1625 would require all employers with workers 
who are represented by a union to post notices informing their 
workers of the union's duty to obtain their authorization if 
some of their required dues or fees are used for 
nonrepresentational purposes. These requirements would impose a 
largely one-time cost on employers with union workers. To 
comply with these requirements, employers would have to post 
notices in at least one area in each of their establishments. 
Currently, employers are required to post notices regarding 
fair labor standards and workplace safety requirements. This 
new posting requirement,however, would apply only to employers 
of workers covered by collective bargaining agreements. Of the 
approximately 3 million establishments with paid employees, the 
share with union workers is not known. In any case, the cost 
per notice could be quite small. Therefore, CBO estimates that 
the overall cost of this mandate to employers would be less 
than $10 million in the first year the mandate is effective and 
negligible in later years.
    Estimated prepared by: Federal Cost: Christina Hawley 
Sadoti. Impact on State, Local, and Tribal Governments: Marc 
Nicole. Impact on the Private Sector: Kathryn Rarick.
    Estimate approved by: Paul N. Van de Water, Assistant 
Director for Budget Analysis.

         Changes in Existing Law Made by the Bill, as Reported

  In compliance with clause 3 of rule XIII of the Rules of the 
House of Representatives, changes in existing law made by the 
bill, as reported, are shown as follows (existing law proposed 
to be omitted is enclosed in black brackets, new matter is 
printed in italic, existing law in which no change is proposed 
is shown in roman):

         LABOR-MANAGEMENT REPORTING AND DISCLOSURE ACT OF 1959

 TITLE II--REPORTING BY LABOR ORGANIZATIONS, OFFICERS AND EMPLOYEES OF 
                   LABOR ORGANIZATIONS, AND EMPLOYERS

                     report of labor organizations

  Sec. 201. (a) * * *
  (b) Every labor organization shall file annually with the 
Secretary a financial report signed by its president and 
treasurer or corresponding principal officers containing the 
following information in such detail as may be necessary 
accurately to disclose its financial condition and operations 
for its preceding fiscal year--
          (1) * * *
          * * * * * * *
Every labor organization shall be required to attribute and 
report expenses in such detail as necessary to allow members to 
determine whether such expenses were necessary to performing 
the duties of the exclusive representative of the employees in 
dealing with the employer on labor-management issues.
  (c) Every labor organization required to submit a report 
under this title shall make available the information required 
to be contained in such report to all its members and employees 
required to pay any dues or fees to such organization, and 
every such labor organization and its officers shall be under a 
duty enforceable at the suit of any member or employee required 
to pay any dues or fees to such organization of such 
organization in any State court of competent jurisdiction or in 
the district court of the United States for the district in 
which such labor organization maintains its principal office, 
to permit such member or employee required to pay any dues or 
fees to such organization for just cause to examine any books, 
records, and accounts necessary to verify such report. The 
court in such action may, in its discretion, in addition to any 
judgment awarded to the plaintiff or plaintiffs, allow a 
reasonable attorney's fee to be paid by the defendant, and cost 
of the action.
          * * * * * * *

                    reports made public information

  Sec. 205. (a) * * *
  (b) The Secretary shall by regulation make reasonable 
provision for the inspection and examination, on the request of 
any person, of the information and data contained in any report 
or other document filed with him pursuant to sections 201, 202, 
203, or 211. Upon written request, the Secretary shall make 
available complete copies of any report or other document filed 
pursuant to section 201.
          * * * * * * *

                             MINORITY VIEWS

 H.R. 1625 Is Just Another Example of the Ongoing Republican Attack on 
                      the Rights of Working People

    From the start of the 104th Congress, a newly elected 
Republican Majority has tried to undermine the rights of 
working Americans and the institutions that seek to protect 
those rights. For example, Republicans have sought to subvert 
the forty-hour work week; to gut the protections afforded 
workers under the Occupational Safety and Health Act; to repeal 
Davis-Bacon and the Service contract Act; to legalize company 
unions; and to permit employers to once again raid employee 
pension plans. In addition, Republicans have sought to expand 
the ability of employers to redefine workers as independent 
contractors and thereby evade health insurance and pension 
obligations, unemployment insurance and social security 
contributions otherwise owed to workers. The Republican 
leadership even fought unsuccessfully to prevent the minimum 
wage from being increased.
    Now, the Republicans are proposing to enact legislation 
that is calculated to cripple the ability of unions and the 
workers they represent to effectively participate in the 
political affairs of the nation. In effect, this legislation 
seeks to effectively disenfranchise American workers. In truth, 
this bill is the Republican party's retaliation against working 
families and their unions for their role in the 1996 elections. 
Republicans are trying to muzzle the legitimate voice of 
working men and women who, through their unions, dared to tell 
the truth about the anti-worker Republican agenda.
    In the name of enforcing the right of a minority to dissent 
from engaging in political activity, this legislation 
deliberately and intentionally tramples on the right of the 
majority to do so. The legislation infringes on the right of 
workers to establish their own rules regarding union 
membership. The legislation infringes on the right of workers 
to determine for themselves the activities of their own 
organizations. The legislation imposes costly, crippling 
paperwork requirements upon unions, thereby effectively 
imposing a punitive tax on all those represented by unions. 
While imposing unreasonable and unfair infringements on the 
rights of workers to engage in political activity through their 
unions, the legislation places no restrictions at all on the 
political activities of employers or employer associations. To 
justify this blatant, one-sided attempt to distort the 
democratic process, the Majority has dismissed, ignored, or 
distorted the substantial protections afforded by existing law 
to all those represented by unions.

    Unions Have a Long and Proud Tradition of Participating in the 
 Political Process, and Union Members Are Well Aware of and Supportive 
                           of this Tradition

    The fact that unions engage in political activity is, of 
course, neither new nor news. As Justice Felix Frankfurter has 
pointed out, ``It is not true in life that political protection 
is irrelevant to, and insulated from, economic interests. It is 
not true for industry or finance. Neither is it true for 
labor.'' \1\ Labor unions have recognized this since their 
inception. As Justice Frankfurter stated:
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    \1\ Machinists v. Street, 367 U.S. 740, 814-815 (1961) (dissenting 
opinion).

          To write the history of the [Railroad] Brotherhoods, 
        the United Mine Workers, the Steel Workers, the 
        Amalgamated Clothing Workers, the International Ladies 
        Garment Workers, the United Auto Workers, and leave out 
        their so-called political activities would be sheer 
        mutilation. Suffice it to recall a few illustrative 
        manifestations. The AFL, surely the conservative labor 
        group, sponsored as early at 1893 an extensive program 
        of political demands calling for compulsory education, 
        an eight-hour day, employer tort liability, and other 
        social reforms. The fiercely contested Adamson Act of 
        1916 was a direct result of railway union pressure 
        exerted upon both the Congress and the President. More 
        specifically, the weekly publication ``Labor''--an 
        expenditure under attack in this case--has since 1919 
        been the organ of the railroad brotherhoods which 
        finance it. Its files through the years show its 
        preoccupation with legislative measures that touch the 
        vitals of labor's interests and with men and parties 
        who effectuate them. This aspect--call it the political 
        side--is as organic, as inured a part of the philosophy 
        and practice of railway unions as their immediate 
        bread-and-butter concerns.\2\
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    \2\ Id. at 800.

    Nor, contrary to the impression the majority has sought to 
foster, have unions ever made a secret of their political 
activity. Indeed, to do so in a democratic society such as ours 
is obviously and inherently counterproductive. As Mr. Coppess 
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
has testified:

          Over the years, the labor movement has led the 
        crusade for enactment of the minimum wage and the 
        forty-hour workweek, for laws protecting occupational 
        safety and health, assuring the security of pensions, 
        and prohibiting invidious discrimination in employment. 
        We have done so because union members, acting through 
        the democratic processes of their unions, decided that 
        it was right and proper to do so--for the sake not just 
        of union members but of all working Americans. And, 
        today we continue to advance the interests of working 
        families by leading the effort to preserve and 
        strengthen the employee-protective laws, and to protect 
        the system of social insurance on which workers and 
        older Americans depend.\3\
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    \3\ Prepared statement of James B. Coppess, Hearing on Mandatory 
Union Dues, Before the Subcommittee on Employer-Employee Relations, 
105th Cong., 1st Sess. (March 18, 1997).
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
          [W]orkers know that unions attempt to advance the 
        interests of those they represent through political 
        action. Workers know that when they vote for union 
        representation. Workers know that when they vote to 
        approve collective bargaining agreements containing 
        union security clauses requiring everyone to pay their 
        fair share for representation. And workers know that 
        when they vote on the level of dues they are willing to 
        pay and on the leaders who will set their union's 
        agenda.
          Workers make these decisions with their eyes wide 
        open about union political activity--as to both the 
        fact of such activity and its cost. Indeed; unions are 
        required to disclose more about their finances than any 
        other organization of which I am aware. And if the 
        membership want more information, it is free to elect 
        leaders promising such or to amend their organization's 
        constitution and bylaws to so provide.
          Anyone who claims that unions could pursue the 
        political course they have consistently followed 
        without substantial majority support is willfully 
        misunderstanding the relationship between elected 
        leaders and representatives and their constituency.\4\
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    \4\ Hearing on H.R. 3580, the Worker Right to Know Act, Before the 
Subcommittee on Employer-Employee Relations, 104th Cong., 2nd Sess., at 
320 (June 19, 1996)(Serial No. 104-66).

    Claims by anyone that they did not know that unions engaged 
in political activity are, at best, disingenuous.

           Current Law Protects the Rights of Union Objectors

    Republican assertions that current labor laws run roughshod 
over dissenting union members are not simply false, but gross 
distortions. Republicans contend falsely, that unions may force 
workers to pay for union political activity. In fact, no 
employee may be required to join a union as a condition of 
employment. Membership in a union is purely voluntary. Nor is 
any employee required, as a condition of employment, to 
underwrite union political activity.
    Unions, by law, are democratic organizations whose officers 
and policies are required to be determined by the majority will 
of their members. In fact, the democratic principles embodied 
in our labor laws are borrowed from the democratic procedures 
we use and honor all across the country when we choose our city 
councils, our mayors, our school boards, and Members of 
Congress.
    Unions are required by law to inform all employees who are 
subject to a collective bargaining agreement, including an 
agency fee or union security provision, that they are not 
required to pay any part of the union dues not related to 
collective bargaining, contract administration, or grievance 
adjustment. Unions must inform such employees of the 
percentages of their union dues that are used for purposes that 
are not germane to collective bargaining, contract 
administration, or grievance adjustment. Moreover, unions must 
establish procedures to ensure that those employees who choose 
not to support the union's political activity, do not pay any 
part of the union dues that are used for purposes that are not 
germane to collective bargaining, contract administration, or 
grievance adjustment.
    Those who believe their right to refrain from paying for 
any union activity unrelated to collective bargaining, contract 
administration, or grievance adjustment have not just one, but 
two different forums by which they may seek remedy. They may 
file a complaint with the National Labor Relations Board, in 
which case the Government, rather than the employee, will 
undertake the cost of investigation and, if merited, the 
prosecution of the allegation. Alternatively, the employee may 
sue the union directly for violating its duty of fair 
representation.
    In fact, those who are represented by unions have extensive 
rights under current law. By law, unions are democratic 
organizations whose officers and policies are required to be 
determined by the majority will of their members. Additionally, 
unions are already under more extensive reporting and 
disclosure requirements than virtually all other institutions 
in the country, and are required to report all of their income 
and expenditures to members, to the Government, and to the 
public. Under the National Labor Relations Act, bargaining unit 
members have a statutory right to either nullify the agency fee 
provision of a contract or decertify the union if the majority 
feels that either the agency fee provision or the union is no 
longer in their best interest. Union members have a statutory 
right to inspect their union's books and to vote on the amount 
of dues the union will charge its members. The National Labor 
Relations Act also prohibits unions from charging those who are 
subject to an agency fee provision excessive or discriminatory 
fees. In short, the alleged evil this legislation seeks to 
correct is one that had already been rendered nonexistent by 
law.
    If the polls cited by the majority for the proposition that 
union members support ``up-front'' consent are accurate, it is 
fully within the ability of those union members to implement 
such a requirement. In fact, however, public opinion polls show 
that members like their unions speaking out on their behalf. A 
poll by Peter Hart Associates taken after the 1996 election 
found that 85 percent of members supported their union's fight 
to increase the minimum wage and protect Medicare. They also 
strongly supported voted guides, voter encouragement efforts, 
and efforts to lobby Members of Congress on issues affecting 
working families. These are the very kinds of activities 
Republicans want to squelch with its shut down of union 
democracy.

   Unions Are Already Under More Extensive Reporting and Disclosure 
   Requirements Than Virtually All Other Institutions in the Country

    H.R. 1625 imposes onerous reporting burdens on unions, yet 
unions are already subject to extensive reporting and 
disclosure requirements. Subchapter III of the LMRDA requires 
unions to file full reports regarding the procedures by which 
the union operates\5\ and annual reports detailing the 
financial conduction of the union including all receipts and 
expenditures by the union.\6\ In addition, the LMRDA 
specifically provides:
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    \5\ 29 U.S.C. 431(a).
    \6\ 29 U.S.C. 431(b).

          Every labor organization required to submit a report 
        under this subchapter shall make available the 
        information required to be contained in such report to 
        all of its members, and every such labor organization 
        and its officers shall be under a duty enforceable at 
        the suit of any member of such organization in any 
        State court or competent jurisdiction or in the 
        district court of the United States for the district in 
        which such labor organization maintains its principal 
        office, to permit such member for just cause to examine 
        any books, records, and accounts necessary to verify 
        such report.\7\
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    \7\ 29 U.S.C 431(c).

    As James B. Coppess stated in testimony before the 
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
Subcommittee on Employer-Employee Relations on March 18, 1997:

          Given this legal structure, there is no room to doubt 
        that the decisions unions make to support or oppose 
        particular pieces of legislation or particular 
        candidates for public office, and the decisions unions 
        make to expend money in support of such views, reflect 
        the views of the majority of union members. Indeed, one 
        reason workers form unions in the first instance is 
        precisely to be able to band together to participate in 
        legislative and political affairs.

In 1988, the Supreme Court Made it Clear in ``Communication Workers v. 
  Beck,'' That No Worker Can Be Compelled To Support Union Political 
                                Activity

    Unit Communication Workers v. Beck was decided 1988, the 
Supreme Court had ``never before delineated the precise limits 
8(a)(3) places on the negotiation of an enforcement of union-
security agreements * * * ''\8\ However:
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    \8\ Communication Workers v. Beck, 487 U.S. 735, 745 (1988).

          Over a quarter century ago we held that 2, Eleventh 
        of the RLA does not permit a union, over the objections 
        of nonmembers, to expend compelled agency fees on 
        political causes. Because the NLRA and RLA differ in 
        certain crucial respects, we have frequently warned 
        that decisions construing the latter often provide on 
        the roughest of guidance when interpreting the former. 
        Our decision in [Machinists v. Street, 367 U.S. 740 
        (1961)], however, is far more than merely instructive 
        here: we believe it is controlling, for 8(a)(3) and 2, 
        Eleventh are in all material respects identical. * * * 
        Thus, in amendment the RLA in 1951, Congress expressly 
        modeled 2, Eleventh on 8(a)(3), which it had added to 
        the NLRA only four years earlier, and repeatedly 
        emphasized that it was extending `to railroad labor the 
        same rights and privileges of the union shop that are 
        contained in the Taft-Hartley Act.' In these 
        circumstances, we think it clear that Congress intended 
        the same language to have the same meaning in both 
        statutes.\9\
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    \9\ Id., 745-747 (citations omitted).

    The dissenting opinion \10\ in Beck vigorously asserted 
that 8(a)(3) does not limit the union's authority to collect 
from nonmembers the same dues and fees it collects from 
members.\11\ Notwithstanding the dissent, however, the Beck 
decision has settled the issue of whether 8(a)(3) ``includes 
the obligation to support union activities beyond those germane 
to collective bargaining, contract administration, and 
grievance adjustment.` \12\ In the word of the Court, ``We 
think it does not.\13\ Since 1988, it has been unlawful to 
require any employee, as a condition of employment, to 
financially support through the payment of dues or fees union 
activities that are not germane to collective bargaining, 
contract administration, or grievance adjustment.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    \10\ Justice Brennen delivered the opinion of the Court, in which 
Chief Justice Rehnquist, and Justices White, Marshall, and Stevens 
joined. Justices Blackmun, O'Connor, and Scalia concurred in part and 
dissented in part. Justice Kennedy took no part in the consideration or 
decision of the case.
    \11\ The Court's conclusion that 8(a)(3) prohibits petitioners from 
requiring respondents to pay fees for purposes other than those 
`germane' to collective bargaining, contract administration, and 
grievance adjustment simply cannot be derived from the plain language 
of the statute. In effect, the Court accepts respondents' contention 
that the words `dues' and `fees,' as used in 8(a)(3), refer not to the 
periodic amount a union charges its members but to the portion of that 
amount that the union expends on statutory collective bargaining. Not 
only is this reading implausible as a matter of simple English usage, 
but it is also contradicted by the decisions of this Court and of the 
NLRB interpreting the section. Section 8(a)(3) does not speak of `dues' 
and `fees' that the employees covered by the union-security agreement 
may be required to tender to their union representative; rather, the 
section speaks only of `the periodic dues and initiation fees uniformly 
required as a condition of acquiring and retaining membership.' Thus, 
the section, by its terms, defines `periodic dues' and `initiation 
fees' as those dues and fees `uniformly required` of all members, not a 
portion of full dues. As recognized by this Court, `dues collected from 
members may be used of a variety of purposes, in addition to meeting 
the union's costs of collective bargaining. Unions rather typically use 
their membership dues to do those things which the members authorize 
the union to do in their interest and on their behalf.' By virtue of 
8(a)(3), such dues may be required from any employee under a union-
security agreement. Nothing in 8(a)(3) limits, or even addresses, the 
purposes to which a union may devote the moneys collected pursuant to 
such an agreement.''
    ``The Court's attempt to squeeze support from the legislative 
history for its reading of congressional intent contrary to the plain 
language of 8(a)(3) is unavailing * * * Indeed, on balance, the 
legislative history reinforces what the statutory language suggests: 
the provisos neither limit the uses to which agency fees may be put nor 
require nonmembers to be charged less than the `uniform' dues and 
initiation fees. Id., at 768-770 (citations omitted),'' Beck dissenting 
opinion.
    \12\ Id., at 745.
    \13\ Id.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

               ``Beck'' Rights Are Aggressively Enforced

    The Majority contends that, despite the Beck decision, 
``Beck rights remain illusory.'' The contention does not stand 
up when compared to the facts. Proponents of H.R. 1625 assert 
that the National Labor Relations Board has not protected Beck 
rights. As Mr. Coppess has testified:

          In California Saw & Knife Works,\14\ the NLRB--
        largely following rules announced by the NLRB General 
        Counsel at the time Beck was decided in 1988--imposed 
        an exacting set of requirements on labor unions which 
        seek to collect agency fees. The Board first held that 
        before a union may require a nonmember to pay such a 
        fee, the union must inform the nonmember of his right 
        to object to paying for activities `not germane to the 
        union's duties as bargaining agent' and his right to 
        `obtain a reduction in fees for such activities.' The 
        NLRB further held that a nonmember who exercises such 
        right by submitting an objection, must be charged a 
        reduced fee, reflecting the union's calculation of the 
        percentage of its overall expenditures devoted to 
        activities germane to collective bargaining. Finally, 
        the Board held that the objecting nonmember must be 
        `apprised of the * * * basis for the calculation,' and 
        must be notified of his right to challenge the union's 
        calculations.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    \14\ 320 NLRB No. 11 (1995).
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
          California Saw thus provided dissident workers, who 
        do not agree with the Majority's decisions to pursue 
        certain legislative or political ends, with a fully-
        developed set of rules to protect the dissident's 
        rights. Those rules are far more elaborate than 
        anything that exists to protect, for example, dissident 
        stockholders. And over the past six months, the Board 
        has made clear that it stands ready to vigorously 
        enforce those rules through a series of decisions 
        holding unions guilty of violating the law where unions 
        had either failed to give a Beck notice to all 
        nonmembers, to establish procedures through which 
        nonmembers could object to paying for activities 
        unrelated to collective bargaining, or to provide 
        nonmembers who submitted objections with the required 
        breakdown of union expenditures.\15\
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    \15\ Board cases enforcing California Saw cited by Mr. Coppess 
include IUE Local 444 (Paramax Systems), 322 NLRB No. 1 (Aug. 27, 
1996); Production Workers Local 707 (Mayo Leasing), 322 NLRB No. 9, 
(Aug. 27, 1996); Laborers Local 265 (Fred A. Newman Co.), 322 NLRB No. 
47 (Sept. 30, 1996); Carpenters Local 943 (Oklahoma Fixture Co.), 322 
NLRB No. 142 (Jan. 10, 1997); Theatrical Stage Employees Local 219 
(Hughes-Avicon International Inc.), 322 NLRB No. 195 (Feb. 14, 1997); 
and UFCW Locals 951, 1036, and 7, 16-CB-3850 (Jan. 31, 1997) (ALJ 
opinion).
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Nor was the Board inactive during the period between the 
Beck decision and California Saw. Within months of the Beck 
decision, the General Counsel issued a comprehensive statement 
of what she believed necessary for a union to comply with 
Beck.\16\ NLRB regional offices actively prosecuted unfair 
labor practice charges alleging Beck violations on the basis of 
noncompliance with the General Counsel's interpretive 
guidelines. Those prosecutions were continued by General 
Counsels appointed under both the Bush and Clinton 
administrations.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    \16\ NLRB General Counsel Memorandum, GC-88-14 (Nov. 15, 1988).
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    As has been previously stated, an employee alleging a 
violation of Beck rights may bring a charge before the NLRB, 
whose decisions may be appealed to the Federal circuit courts, 
or may sue a union directly in Federal district court. The 
contention that a judiciary made up of large numbers of 
Republican appointees has been hesitant to enforce or has 
somehow diminished Beck rights is neither plausible nor 
accurate. The Majority, themselves, cite evidence to the 
contrary, pointing out that the D.C. Circuit, in Ferriso v. 
National Labor Relations Board,\17\ has concluded that a 
union's calculations of the percentage of dues and fees that 
are used for collective bargaining, contract administration, 
and grievance adjustment must be confirmed by an independent 
audit.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    \17\ CA DC, No. 96-1321 (September 23, 1997).
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    The efforts to enforce Beck rights in a meaningful manner 
is not simply reflected in the law and the efforts of the Board 
and the courts to enforce the law, but is regularly reflected 
in the actions of unions. During hearings several unions 
explained the practices and procedures they have undertaken to 
comply with Beck. While different unions have adopted different 
procedures, the practices of the International Association of 
Machinists are illustrative of union efforts. According to Mark 
Schneider, Associate General Counsel of the Machinists:

          Each year we notify all of our represented employees 
        through a notice in our newspaper at the end of each 
        year that if they wished to become dues objectors the 
        following year, they should make that request in 
        writing to our General Secretary Treasurer in 
        Washington, D.C. Because we require that objection 
        requests be submitted to a particular union officer 
        during a particular one-month ``window period,'' we 
        felt that fairness required that we provide notice to 
        all of our represented employees on an annual basis 
        describing these requirements.
          We also advise our represented employees of the size 
        of the reduction they should expect, and of the kinds 
        of expenditures in sufficient detail for them to 
        understand what activities they are funding, and what 
        activities they are no longer funding, pursuant to the 
        union's calculation. Finally, we advise them that if, 
        after reviewing this material, they wish to challenge 
        the union's allocation, the union will provide them 
        with the complete audit that supports its calculation, 
        and so armed give them the opportunity to make that 
        challenge before a neutral arbitrator selected by the 
        American Arbitration Association. At that arbitration 
        the union bears the burden of justifying its expense 
        allocation, and agrees in advance to be bound by the 
        arbitrator's decision.
          In order to fairly allocate union expenditures, every 
        union staff member keeps contemporaneous records of his 
        or her time, on forms specially prepared for Beck 
        purposes. On these records, employee time is broken 
        down into various categories, such as, for example, 
        ``attending union meetings,'' ``legislative 
        activities,'' ``grievances and arbitration'' and so on. 
        From these time sheets, accountants determine how much 
        of the time of each of the union's departments is 
        properly chargeable to objectors, and how much is not. 
        Accountants then take the C.P.A. audited expenditure 
        figures from the union's general ledger, and allocate 
        expenditures in accordance with the percentages derived 
        from the time records. A summary of this material then 
        is provided to every dues objector, and the complete 
        audit is provided to any objector who requests a copy 
        and wishes to challenge the union's conclusion in the 
        neutral arbitration.
          Each year, during the objector cycle, the union 
        escrows a sufficient sum of money to assure that, 
        should it be determined by an arbitrator that it has 
        not provided a sufficient reduction, any difference 
        will be covered by the escrow account. In that way, 
        objectors are assured that not a penny of their money 
        will even inadvertently be spent on matters not germane 
        to the collective bargaining process.
          In sum, under the regime established by the Board, 
        and in place at our union, employees are fully aware of 
        their Beck rights and have every opportunity to 
        exercise them in a meaningful manner. The union's Beck 
        compliance program--for the most part required by law--
        has imposed substantial burdens on the union. And we 
        most emphatically believe that if any modification of 
        the existing rules is in order, it would be in the 
        direction of less regulation, and not more.\18\
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    \18\ Prepared statement of Mark Schneider, Hearing on the 
Assessment of Union Dues, Before the Subcommittee on Employer-Employee 
Relations, 104th Cong., 2nd Sess. (April 18, 1996).
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

     H.R. 1625 Ignores Substantive Flaws in Labor Law and Proposes 
       Fundamental Changes to the Law Based on Dubious Anecdotes

    To buttress a nonexistent case for the need to protect Beck 
rights, the Majority has produced anecdotal evidence of the 
hardships faced by workers. However, the Republicans have 
produced no systemic evidence beyond partisan polling 
information for the contention that Beck rights are routinely 
violated or difficult to enforce. In fact, there is no evidence 
for those kinds of systemic abuses.
    There is substantial evidence, however, for the systemic 
abuse of other provisions of the National Labor Relations Act. 
The major thrust of section 8(a)(3) has nothing to do with 
agency fees, but provides that it is ``an unfair labor practice 
for an employer by discrimination in regard to hire or tenure 
of employment or any term or condition of employment to 
encourage or discourage membership in any labor organization. * 
* *'' Notwithstanding 8(a)(3), it is estimated that 10,000 
workers are unlawfully fired every year for seeking to exercise 
their right to organize. In one out of every four organizing 
campaigns, workers are unlawfully fired for seeking to exercise 
statutorily protected rights. According to a recent survey, 44% 
of all workers who are not represented by a union would vote to 
join a union tomorrow, but for the fact that doing so may cost 
them their jobs.
    But the Majority is not just indifferent, they are hostile 
to addressing these kinds of systemic abuses of the law. H.R. 
1625, was intentionally crafted in a manner that precludes our 
ability to even attempt to redress the systemic problems in the 
law. Rather than seeking to amend the National Labor Relations 
Act and the Railway Labor Act, the statutes that authorize 
agency fees in the first instance, H.R. 1625 was deliberately 
crafted as a free standing statute in part in order to preclude 
amendments that may deal with more substantive problems in the 
law.
    The Majority's animosity for the rights of workers is also 
reflected in the fact that the potent remedies provided in H.R. 
1625 are not extended to the full range of labor rights 
protected by Federal law. Workers have a right to form and join 
unions. Where workers exercise that right, they also are 
protected from being required as a condition of employment from 
having to finance union activities that are not germane to 
collective bargaining, contract administration, or grievance 
adjustment. The right to pay less than full union dues, 
however, is meaningless unless workers exercise the right to 
organize. There is no general obligation under the NLRA 
requiring employers to inform employees of their right to form 
and join unions. Nor does H.R. 1625 provide such a requirement. 
However, where employees do act to form or join unions, H.R. 
1625 requires employers to post notices informing employees of 
their right to pay less than full union dues. The Majority 
unfairly proposes to require that employers post notices 
informing workers of their right not to pay less than full 
union dues, while refusing to require employers to inform 
workers of their right to join a union in the first instance. 
It is illustrative of the Majority's anti-worker bias.
    This bias is even more obvious with respect to another 
aspect of the remedies provided under H.R. 1625. Special 
damages are not available to employees under section 8(a)(3) 
where an employer unlawfully fires a worker for seeking to form 
or join a union. However, H.R. 1625 provides double damages in 
circumstances where a union effects a violation of 8(a)(3) by 
requiring an objector to pay full union dues. As has been 
previously pointed out, under the LMRDA union members have the 
right to determine how much their union dues will be, and under 
the NLRA union dues may not be excessive or discriminatory. As 
Mark Schneider pointed out in testimony before the 
subcommittee:

          The discussion over the appropriate procedural rules 
        to implement Beck is a discussion that in practical 
        terms is a discussion over extremely small amounts of 
        money. Union dues in the Machinists Union is something 
        like $25-$30 each month. The reduction owed a dues 
        objector is routinely something in the nature of 20% of 
        that amount--only a small portion of which, I hasten to 
        add--relates to expenditures for political activity. A 
        disagreement over the appropriate safeguards that 
        should be in place to assure the accuracy of the 
        union's reduction calculation--whether it is properly 
        19% or 20%, or how to structure an arbitration system 
        that fairly gives an objector opportunity to claim that 
        the reduction is properly a higher percentage than 
        claimed--is literally a dispute over pennies. Without 
        disparaging in any way the importance of the ongoing 
        discussion about the implementation of Beck or the 
        merits of one or the other holdings of the NLRB in 
        California Saw, I would respectfully suggest that there 
        are matters within the jurisdiction of the NLRB of far 
        more critical importance to the workers we represent, 
        and, for that matter, to the employer community, that 
        are not getting the attention that Beck compliance has 
        achieved, and I look forward to the day when these 
        other critical issues are given the attention they 
        deserve.\19\
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    \19\ Prepared statement of Mark Schneider, Hearing on the 
Assessment of Union Dues, Before the Subcommittee on Employer-Employee 
Relations, 104th Cong., 2nd Sess. (April 18, 1996).

    H.R. 1625 provides damages for financially meaningless, 
though philosophically important, improper acts of a union 
which claims more dues money from an employee than it is 
entitled to, or which spends such funds in a manner unrelated 
to collective bargaining and inconsistent with the employee's 
views. Being unlawfully fired, however, is a financial, as well 
as a psychological, catastrophe for a worker.
    The NLRA generally provides ``make whole'' remedies for 
employer unfair labor practices. Where an employee has been 
unlawfully discharged, an employee is generally entitled to 
reinstatement and back wages for the period the employee was 
unemployed, minus any wages the employee could have earned 
during that period. As evidenced by the number of workers who 
are annually discharged in violation of 8(a)(3), existing 
remedies do little to deter employer violations. Employers 
often contest the unfair labor practice and thereby prolong the 
period for which the employee is unlawfully without a job or an 
income. The employee is entitled to neither punitive nor 
compensatory damages as a result of the harm he or she suffers 
as a result of the employer's unlawful action. If an employee 
defaults on a car loan or a mortgage payment as a result of the 
employer's unlawful discharge, the employee does not receive 
additional compensation for that loss. Typically, employees end 
up settling such charges without being reinstated and without 
even receiving the full compensation to which they are 
entitled.
    Even where employees are reinstated, they are commonly gone 
within one year of reinstatement. To contend that a worker 
should be entitled to damages where a union has misused minimal 
amounts of a worker's money, but should not be entitled to 
damages where an employer has unlawfully abridged the ability 
of that worker to earn a livelihood demonstrates a staggering 
animosity for the rights and welfare of working Americans. Yet, 
that is exactly the circumstances the Majority would seek to 
create by enacting H.R. 1625.

   H.R. 1625 Imposes Prohibitively High Costs of Compliance on Unions

    Implementation of H.R. 1625 would, in effect, result in a 
tax increase for all union members. If the Worker Paycheck 
Fairness act is enacted, unions would be required to collect 
16.3 million signatures from workers. In order to obtain the 
16.3 million individual authorizations, the cost will be 
approximately $1 per person, for a response and retrieval rate 
of significantly less than 100 percent. Add to that 2.7 million 
hours of effort, and the value of that time calculated at 
$15.05, the average wage of a union employee, then the cost of 
collecting signatures is $40.6 million plus the estimated $16.3 
million, to prepare authorization forms and explanatory 
materials, distribute them, and follow-up on signatures.
    This bill does not define reporting requirements, but 
presumably unions would have to delineate for their members 
what activities and expenses were involved in political 
expenditures. This bookkeeping would impose new administrative 
burdens to most of the 33,800 or more labor entities. Keep in 
mind that many locals are very small and the majority have no 
paid staff and no computerized records or accounts, developing 
new and sophisticated reporting systems is neither easy nor 
inexpensive. A leading accountant with significant experience 
working with trade unions estimates that setting up such a 
system would cost a minimum of $2,000 in professional 
accounting time, not to speak of the time necessary for union 
officials to work with the systems. Many locals do not have the 
funds to pay these accounting costs. Estimated start-up costs 
to comply with this provision of the proposed legislation would 
be approximately $3.4 million, conservatively. If the 33,800 
labor entities needed to develop new accounting systems, then 
start-up costs could run as high as $6.8 million, meaning that 
between $13.2 million and $26.5 million would be spent each 
year maintaining the systems and generating reports.
    An undertaking of this magnitude is mammoth, especially 
where a local has members in multiple locations. Monumental 
effort is required at each stage of the process--notice, 
distribution, solicitation, response, and follow-up. The new 
administrative burdens and requirements would cost nearly as 
much as $90 million initially and $27 million every year 
thereafter.
    The requirement for national banks and corporations to gain 
similar authorizing signatures is not significant, given that 
``stockholders or employees'' rarely pay dues, initiation fees, 
or other payment as a condition of employment.'' The 
requirement for labor unions clearly is significant, since dues 
are the way in which these organizations fund their existence.

           H.R. 1625 is an Invitation for Further Litigation

    As interpreted by the Supreme Court, the federal labor law 
``does not permit a union, over the objections of nonmembers, 
to expend compelled agency fees on political causes.'' \20\ 
Recognizing that the ``the majority * * * has an interest in 
stating its views without being silenced by the dissenter,'' 
the Court has taken care to articulate a rule that attain[s] 
the appropriate reconciliation between majority and dissenting 
interests in the area of political expression'' and 
``protect[s] both interests to the maximum extent possible 
without undue impingement of one on the other.'' \21\
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    \20\ Communication Workers v. Beck, 487 U.S. 735, 745 (1988), 
citing Machinist V. Street, 367 U.S. 740 (1961).
    \21\ Machinists v. Street, 367 U.S. at 773.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    The proponents of H.R. 1625 have expressed their 
dissatisfaction with the ``reconciliation between majority and 
dissenting interests'' struck by the Supreme Court. Consistent 
with this position, the bill would overturn each component of 
the rule articulated by the Court to the obvious end of 
inflicting ``undue impingement'' upon the majority's right of 
free association and expression.
    Where the Supreme Court has stated that ``dissent is not to 
be presumed--it must be affirmatively made known to the union 
by the dissenting employee,'' \22\ the union they have chosen 
to represent them before that union can accept normal dues. 
There the Supreme Court expressly limits the right of dissent 
to ``nonmembers'',\23\ bars unions from accepting normal dues 
payments from even voluntary members without having first 
received from them statements of agreement with the union's 
political positions. And where the Supreme Court states that 
the dissenters' ``grievance stems from the spending of their 
funds for purposes not authorized by the Act in the face of 
their objection, not from * * * the mere collection of funds,'' 
\24\ H.R. 1625 bars unions from collecting normal membership 
dues from employees who have not signed special forms stating 
their agreement with the union's political positions.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    \22\ Street, 367 U.S. at 774.
    \23\ Beck, 487 U.S. at 745, H.R. 1625.
    \24\ Street, 367 U.S. at 771.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    The rights of employees with respect to the use of their 
contractually required payments to unions have been forged over 
years of litigation. In one stroke, H.R. 1625 would completely 
unsettle this area of the law, leaving unions, employers, and 
most especially employees completely unsure of where they 
stand. As a general rule, caution should be exercised in making 
a drastic change in settled legal principles, if for no other 
reason, than to avoid the flood of litigation that inevitably 
follows such changes. But in the labor relations context, where 
uncertainty not only leads to litigation but it undermines 
industrial stability and employment security, legislative 
action upsetting established rights should be done with 
caution.
    The problems that H.R. 1625 claims to address are 
fictitious. The protections afforded those represented by 
unions with regard to the political activities of the union far 
exceed those afforded to the members of any other organization. 
The assertion that employees may be required to underwrite 
union political activity or that current law condones or in any 
way coddles union efforts to coerce employees into underwriting 
union political activity is a gross canard. Neither 8(a)(3) nor 
2, Eleventh serves as any justification for imposing different 
rules upon the political participation of unions than those 
generally applicable to all other organizations.\25\
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    \25\ The rights and protections afforded under section 2, Eleventh 
of the Railway Labor Act are not administered by an agency but are 
directly enforced by the courts. It has been unlawful since 1961 for a 
union subject to the RLA to require an employee as a condition of 
employment to underwrite any union costs that are not associated with 
the costs of negotiating and administering collective agreements and 
adjusting and settling disputes. (see Machinists v. Street, 376 U.S. 
740 (1961). Further, until controversy concerning 8(a)(3) arose in the 
last Congress, no serious need has ever been felt to codify the Street 
decision.
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H.R. 1625 Imposes Onerous Obligations on the Political Participation of 
            Unions That Are Required of No Other Institution

    The Majority states that ``Unions, by a grant of power from 
the Federal government, can force employees to pay dues to the 
union as a condition of keeping their jobs; corporations cannot 
force individuals to invest in the union nor can other 
membership organizations force individuals to join and pay 
dues.'' To the extent that the Majority is implying that a 
union may force any employee to underwrite any activity that is 
not related to collective bargaining, contract administration, 
or grievance adjustment, they are being disingenuous. However, 
the contention that other organizations cannot or do not 
effectively coerce members to underwrite their political 
activities is equally inaccurate. Both union and nonunion 
employees own substantial amounts of corporate stock through 
employee pension plans, profit sharing plans, 401(k) plans, and 
other forms of retirement savings plans. Most employees have no 
voice in how their money is invested and no knowledge of what 
stocks are owned by their retirement plans. Nevertheless, 
corporations regularly and routinely expend millions of dollars 
more than unions on political activities every year, at the 
expense of the return workers might otherwise receive for their 
pension investments, frequently for purposes that are 
antithetical to the interests of workers, without seeking the 
prior approval of anyone.
    The money that employers and employer organizations are 
spending, for example, to dissuade the Congress from regulating 
health maintenance organizations, to diminish protections under 
the Occupational Safety and Health Act, or to prevent the 
minimum wage from being increased is money that was directly 
earned by the efforts of workers. It is money that otherwise 
may have been used to increase the wages and benefits of 
workers. It is money that is instead being spent for the 
explicit purpose of preventing wages and benefits from being 
increased. It is money that does not belong to corporate 
managers. And it is money that is spent without any input from 
the workers. To contend that such workers have right to find 
another job is not a realistic alternative for most workers, 
does not ensure that the worker will not run into the same 
problem at the next job, and is an alternative, unrealistic as 
it may be, that is equally applicable to an employee who is 
subject to an agency fee provision.
    The truth of the matter is that union members have far more 
voice in determining the political activities of their union, 
both legally and practically, than shareholders have of 
determining how their money is spent for political purposes by 
corporate managers. Workers have voluntarily joined the union, 
in part, for the express purpose of engaging collectively in 
political activity. A shareholder typically buys stock solely 
for the purpose of the return the investment will produce. Yet, 
virtually every corporation regularly and routinely spends 
shareholder money to finance the expression of political views 
with which the shareholder may or may not agree.
    Further, the money spent by corporations on political 
activity vastly exceeds anything spent by unions. Businesses 
accounted for 87% of all soft money contributions to Democrats 
and 96% of all soft money contributions to Republicans over the 
period of 1995 and 1996. Over the same period, labor accounted 
for 11% of Democratic soft money contributions and 1% of 
Republican soft money contributions. In total money, businesses 
spent $171 million in soft money contributions, compared to the 
slightly less than $10 million spent by labor. And this is but 
the tip of the iceberg. Including trade association fees, so 
called public interest advertising, independent expenditures, 
and direct lobbying expenses, corporations spend hundreds of 
millions, perhaps billions, of other people's dollars for the 
purpose of engaging in political activity. So much for the 
Republican concern that ``all men and women should have a right 
to make individual and informed choices about the political, 
social, or charitable causes they support.'' \26\
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    \26\ H.R. 1625, Section 2, paragraph (3).
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    Notwithstanding the limited financial interests that 
individual workers have in H.R. 1625, the harm that H.R. 1625 
would visit upon unions and upon the rights of workers, as 
compared to any other segment of society, are substantial. H.R. 
1625 is a deliberate, calculated effort to place unions and the 
workers they represent at a unique and substantial disadvantage 
with regard to their ability to participate in politics as 
compared to any other group. This legislation is not about 
protecting free and open political debate, it is about the 
ability of one group of Americans, workers, to participate in 
that debate. What this legislation ultimately seeks to 
accomplish is to distort the democratic processes of this 
country. At the least, it is the hope of the Republican 
leadership to use this legislation, or similar legislation, to 
blame Democrats for their failure to enact campaign finance 
reform legislation. At the most, Republicans hope to silence 
their perceived political adversaries, those who advocate for 
and on behalf of workers.

                               Conclusion

    Labor unions operate on the principle that it is the right 
of the majority to decide the duties of membership, and that 
those who want the privileges of membership must accept the 
responsibilities that come with it. Political parties, 
churches, business associations, girl scout troops and all 
other voluntary associations operate on the same principle. For 
example, it is typical for those who wish to select a 
Republican candidate for political office to be required to be 
members of the Republican Party.
    The Supreme Court has long recognized that an organization 
has the right to ``determin[e] . . . the boundaries of its own 
association, and of the structure which best allows it to 
pursue its political goals, is protected by the Constitution.'' 
\27\ And ``any interference with the freedom of [the 
organization] is simultaneously an interference with the 
freedom of its adherents.'' \28\
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    \27\ Tashijan v. Republican Party of Connecticut, 479 U.S. 208, 224 
(1986).
    \28\ Democratic Party of the United States v. Wisconsin, 450 U.S. 
107, 122 (1981).
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    Beck incorporates these fundamental principles of freedom 
of association while safeguarding the right of dissidents to 
withdraw from the group without suffering adverse employment 
consequences and without any obligation to pay for a union's 
political or ideological activities. However, to force a union 
to allow dissidents who withdraw from membership to retain the 
right to participate in membership decisions would turn Beck--
and the First Amendment--on their heads.
    If freedom of association is to have any meaning, the 
members of the association must have the right to decide how 
best to pursue their common interest and common mission. To 
prevent union members from deciding that their union will 
engage in political activity, and that those who choose to join 
the union will support that activity through a portion of their 
dues, is to strike at the heart of union members' rights of 
association. What the Supreme Court has said in the political 
party context is equally apt here: ``these proposals would 
`limit [unions'] associational opportunities at the critical 
juncture at which the appeal to common principles may be 
translated into concerted action and hence to political power 
in the community.'' \29\
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    \29\ Tashjian, supra, 479 U.S. at 216.
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    Indeed, that is precisely the point. To prohibit unions 
from using dues money to press for the enactment of legislation 
or the election of candidates sympathetic to working families--
or to require each member every year to sign a written 
agreement authorizing such activities would effectively silence 
the only voice working families have in our society.
    For all the talk about union expenditures in the last 
election, the fact of the matter is that, according to the 
Center for Responsive Politics, corporate interests outspent 
union interests by a margin of 17 to 1. We need a more level 
playing field for working people in politics, not one that is 
more skewed in favor of corporate interests. And, we will do 
every thing we can to resist these blatant attempts to punish 
the labor movement for having had the temerity to stand up for 
the men and women they represent, and to protect the right of 
their members to participate on a full and equal basis in the 
political decision making process in this country.

                                   William L. Clay.
                                   Dale E. Kildee.
                                   Major R. Owens.
                                   Patsy T. Mink.
                                   Tim Roemer.
                                   Lynn Woolsey.
                                   Chaka Fattah.
                                   Carolyn McCarthy.
                                   Ron Kind.
                                   Harold E. Ford, Jr.
                                   George Miller.
                                   Matthew G. Martinez.
                                   Donald M. Payne.
                                   Robert E. Andrews.
                                   Robert C. Scott.
                                   Carlos Romero-Barcelo.
                                   Ruben Hinojosa.
                                   John F. Tierney.
                                   Loretta Sanchez.
                                   Dennis J. Kucinich.

                            DISSENTING VIEW

                            I. Introduction

    The use of union dues, which, in the 29 non-Right to Work 
states workers must pay as a condition of employment, for 
political causes opposed by the worker is, in the words of 
Thomas Jefferson ``both sinful and tyrannical.'' However, this 
congressionally-created wrong does not justify the expansion of 
federal power over the relationship between unions, workers, 
and employees contained in the Worker Paycheck Fairness Act 
(H.R. 1625). The Worker Paycheck Fairness Act not only 
continues congressional unconstitutional interference in 
America's labor markets, it also fails to deal with the root 
cause of the problem. Furthermore, it is doubtful that the new 
regulations and mandates in this bill will achieve the goal of 
stopping union officials from using forced dues for politics.
    The problem of using of compulsory union dues for politics 
is rooted in those federal laws that equally sanction 
compulsory unionism. Federal laws authorizing compulsory dues 
for any reason violate the principle of individual liberty upon 
which this country was founded. Therefore, the constitutional 
solution to the problem of the use of forced dues for politics 
(or any other reason) is to repeal those sections of federal 
law giving union officials the power to force workers to pay 
union dues as a condition of employment.

  II. H.R. 1625 Creates New Burdens on Employers, Unions and Employees

    The Worker Paycheck Fairness Act sets up a new federal 
regulatory system, complete with mandates on union officials, 
employers and workers, to control union political spending. 
Under this bill unions wishing to spend dues receipts on 
politics must obtain a signed statement from every dues-paying 
worker authorizing the use of their dues for political 
purposes. The bill also requires unions to produce more 
detailed expense reports so workers can determine how much of 
their expenses were spent on items other than collective 
bargaining.
    These requirements will impose tremendous costs on labor 
unions, costs which Congress has no authority to impose. 
Supporters of this bill may attempt to justify imposing this 
burden on labor union as necessary to ensure union officials do 
not abuse their federally-granted privilege of collecting 
compulsory dues. However, Congress' original abuse of its 
authority to empower union officials in no way justifies 
federal interference in a union's internal operations. Unions 
are constitutionally entitled to the same freedom from federal 
mandates as every other private institution in America. The 
power to force employees to pay dues that are used for 
political purposes, which unions have as a result of federal 
protections, is a justification for repealing those laws, not 
for placing new mandates on onions, employees, and employers.
    This bill also places a new, unfunded mandate on businesses 
by requiring every employer to post a notice in their workplace 
informing workers of their rights under this statute. Mandating 
that employers place a notice on their property constitutes a 
taking of private property, however minor, without just 
compensation.
    The Worker Paycheck Fairness Act will also place new 
burdens on the very people who the act is designed to aid: the 
American worker. For example, millions of American workers will 
likely be faced with an increase in union dues in order to 
cover the additional costs incurred in complying with this 
mandate.
    Furthermore, requiring workers to sign a card stating 
whether or not they wish to contribute to union politics 
burdens the free speech rights of both those workers who would 
wish to support union political activity and those who do not 
wish to underwrite union politics. Workers should not be 
required to fill out paperwork, that may later become part of a 
public record if the union's expenditures are challenged in 
court, in order to exercise their first amendment rights to 
participate (or not participate) in politics. Rather than 
having to comply with government mandates to ensure their 
forced union dues are spent properly, workers should simply be 
returned the freedom to choose whether or not they will pay 
union dues for any purpose.
    A further infringement on the rights of union members is 
the provision providing that a worker who objects to having 
part of his dues used for union officials is still entitled to 
all the rights and privileges of union membership. This is an 
infringement on the freedom of association rights of those who 
chose to pay for union politics freedom of association. A union 
should have the ability to determine its own rules for 
membership, Congress should not force those who pay for union 
politics to associate with those who choose not to pay for 
political activities.
    Ironically, this infringement of the union members' freedom 
of association is rooted in the special privileges granted 
union officials by federal law. Under the National Labor 
Relations Act, union officials have the power to represent all 
employees at a worksite, whether or not they are members of the 
union or even whether or not they desire union representation. 
Furthermore, employers at a unionized workplace are forbidden 
by federal law from bargaining over working conditions with any 
individual employee, a violation of the employee and the 
employers' right to freely contract. Therefore, a union dues 
payer who objects to the use of union dues and gives up his 
membership in the union, is, in essence, giving up his rights 
to have a say in his wages, hours, and benefits. The fate of 
the unions under this bill is yet another example of how those 
who seekto enrich themselves by seeking special privileges from 
the federal government eventually lose their own liberties to the 
leviathan state they helped construct.

  III. H.R. 1625 Will Not Curtail the Use of Forced Dues for Politics

    It is highly questionable as to whether placing these 
mandates on unions and employers will effectively curtail the 
use of forced-union dues for politics. Several times since the 
passage of the National Labor Relations Act, Congress has 
amended the law to provide for greater federal control of labor 
unions, yet union corruption remains a serious problem, as 
evidenced by the voiding of recent government supervised and 
financed Teamster elections. Given this history it appears 
likely that when dishonest union officials battle federal 
regulators over political spending, the union officials will 
successfully disguise their spending on politics as funds spent 
of purposes related to ``exclusive representation.''
    One of the goals of the act is to end the harassment of 
workers who assert their right not to pay for politics. This is 
certainly a laudable goal. One of the most shameful aspects of 
the modern labor movement is the all-too-frequent use of 
threats and even actual violence against workers who object to 
the policies of union officials. However, it is unlikely that 
this bill will stop corrupt unions from harassing independent-
minded workers. If this bill becomes law, corrupt unions will 
harass workers who refuse to authorize the use of their dues 
for politics, or who challenge union officials in occur for a 
refund of those dues allegedly spent for politics.
    The persecution of workers by unscrupulous union officials 
will continue until Congress repeals the federal laws that give 
unions the power to coerce workers to pay union dues and accept 
union representation, since corrupt union officials' ability to 
tyrannize workers flows from the unconstitutional powers grated 
them by Congress.

        IV. H.R. 1625 Implicity Legitimizes Compulsory Unionism

    The primary reason Congress should reject this bill is its 
faulty premise. By stating, in the very first finding, that 
``Workers who pay [union] dues may not * * * be required to pay 
to that organization any dues or fees supporting activities 
that are not necessary to performing the duties of the 
exclusive representation of the employee* * *'' the drafters of 
this bill implicitly accept the legitimacy of compulsory 
unionism, as long as the dues collected by compulsion are not 
spent for politics purposes. However, union political spending 
per se should not be the concern of Congress. Even if union 
political spending was 10 times as much as it is now it would 
not be a proper subject of Congressional regulation--as long as 
it was from voluntary dues. Conversely, even if union officials 
never spent another dime on politics, Congress would still be 
morally obligated to repeal those laws empowering union 
officials to force workers to pay dues for any purposes. It is 
the collection of forced dues that damages our system--not any 
particular use to which those dues are put!
    The problems with H.R. 1625 were eloquently stated by Harry 
Beck, the lead plaintiff in the Supreme Court case which 
established the right of forced-dues payers to a refund of that 
portion of their dues spent on politics, ``you don't solve the 
forced dues in politics problem by letting the union bosses 
keep the force while trying to micro-manage their `politics.' 
The government lawyers, accountants and bureaucrats love that 
approach [i.e. the approach contained in H.R. 1625] because it 
would give them job security. The legislative solution to 
coercion isn't to keep it under a GOP-approved system of 
regulation--but to end it!''

                             V. Conclusion

    The Worker Paycheck Fairness Act (H.R. 1625) attempts to 
address the very serious problem of the use of forced union 
dues for political purposes through the establishment of a new 
system of coercion. This bill places new mandates on workers, 
employers, as well as on unions. The system established in HR 
1625 not only compounds the constitutional violations of the 
federal laws that give unions the power to force workers to pay 
union dues, it also will fail to address the problem it is 
designed to solve. If this bill becomes law, corrupt union 
officials will simply use ``creative accounting'' to 
distinguish their political spending and/or use force and 
intimidation to ensure workers ``consent'' to having their 
forced dues spent on politics.
    In its attempt to solve a congressional-created problem 
with new restrictions on American liberties, HR 1625 parallels 
proposals to ``reform'' campaign finance by limiting freedom of 
speech as both expand government power rather than attack the 
root cause of the problem--too much ``congressional activism'' 
in which constitutionally are non-governmental affairs!
    Instead of passing an unconstitutional, ineffective law, 
Congress should follow the advice of Harry Beck--stop trying to 
regulate union officials' use of the fruits of their coercion 
and repeal the unconstitutional laws that authorize the 
collection of forced dues. Only by revoking union officials' 
legislatively-ordained coercive privileges can Congress end the 
scourge of forced dues for politics and restore true freedom to 
America's labor markets.

                                                          Ron Paul.

                            ADDITIONAL VIEWS

    I strongly oppose H.R. 1625 because it would prevent unions 
and the workers they represent from participating in the 
political process. I fully support and agree with the analysis 
of the legislation contained in the Minority Views.
                                                  Carolyn McCarthy.