After recent election to federal government, he’s now taking his anti-union actions to the national level.
But a national union is coming to Charleston tomorrow to protest Scott’s most recent stab.
And making it even more interesting, “Scott said he hopes to be there, too,” reports the Post & Courier.
Earlier this month Scott introduced H.R. 2145, which he calls the “Empower Employees Act.” The goal of the bill is “to provide that agencies may not deduct labor organization dues from the pay of Federal employees(.)”
In application, members of the American Federation of Government Employees and other federal government unions could no longer have their dues automatically deducted from their paychecks.
From 11:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m., the local union chapter will be joined by AFGE International President John Gage at 2000 Sam Rittenberg Blvd in Charleston. Scott uses Suite 3007 at this address.
“(T)his legislation would increase employees’ freedom by allowing them to choose to pay union dues rather than having them taken out of employees’ paychecks before the workers even see the money,” Scott states.
However, employees already have that freedom. Automatic deduction of dues from government employees’ paychecks can only be instituted and authorized by those employees, who must issue formal document to authorize those deductions. The same document also instructs employees how to stop the automatic withdrawals.
In other words, federal employees only have union dues withdrawn from paychecks by choice. They can always stop that deduction by choice, too. Thus, Scott’s bill would only eliminate freedom of choice.
Getting national attention since its introduction, H.R. 2145 has been called a “laughable” attempt at “union-busting(.)”
“It's time for lawmakers like Tim Scott to stop attacking our jobs, pay, pensions and the programs we all rely on,” says AFGE International President John Gage, who will conduct tomorrow’s press conference. “Instead, (he) needs to focus on creating good jobs and making the very rich and big corporations pay their fair share.”
Gage also points out Scott’s recent votes pertaining to Dept. of Defense employment, which would eliminate 500 jobs from Charleston, and a five-year pay freeze that would affect 9,000 in this congressional district.
Defending his bill, Scott cites an editorial from the conservative bi-weekly National Review: “When Indiana governor Mitch Daniels ended collective bargaining and the automatic collection of dues in 2005, the number of members paying dues plummeted by roughly 90 percent.”
What author and magazine editor Rich Lowry fails to note, as does Scott, is the end to collective bargaining by Indiana state employees eliminated the primary purpose of their union. Being unable to perform its chief duty of employee representation, the union could no longer collect adequate dues. Thus, this circumstance is completely irrelevant to Scott’s argument.
Scott also claims the paycheck deduction method “uses taxpayer resources” to collect union dues. However, the practice creates no expenses whatsoever.
Recent polling finds public sentiment against the concept of H.R. 2145, too. A recent study by Public Policy Polling found “Union households think public (government) employees should have as many or more rights than they do now by a 66/32 spread, but so do non-union households by a 51/45 one.”
Persons interested in attending tomorrow’s demonstration can find further details at the “We Are One” website. Attendees are encouraged to bring cameras and video recorders.
Aside from AFGE, other labor unions representing federal government employees include the National Treasury Employees Union and the National Federation of Federal Employees.
Earlier this year, Scott co-sponsored H.R. 1135, “The Welfare Reform Act,” which would prevent any household that has a member participating in a labor strike from collecting food stamps.
He also participated in a congressional hearing held in N Charleston that was supposed to pertain to the city’s Boeing facility, but was only an attack on the legal complaint a labor union has against the company in Washington State.