A United Food and Commercial Workers union (UFCW) Local 770 Union Shop sticker. (Reuters/ Jonathan Alcorn)
On August 28, a klatch of high-level representatives of some of the most anti-union groups in the country gathered on a stage at the Heritage Foundation in Washington, DC. They had come together, on the eve of Labor Day, to discuss a new scheme for dismantling workers’ rights: turning one of the most potent weapons in the anti-labor arsenal—so-called right-to-work laws (RTW)—on cities and counties.
“The possibilities of rolling out a local RTW [campaign] in a non-RTW state deserves a full-court press by those of us who care about free market economics and allowing communities to make the best decisions for their people,” declared Jon Russell, a baby-faced partisan of the right who was sandwiched between Andrew Kloster of the Heritage Foundation and Patrick Gleason of Americans for Tax Reform. Flanking them were James Sherk, also of the Heritage Foundation, and William Messenger, the attorney from the National Right to Work Legal Defense Foundation who argued Harris v. Quinn last year before the Supreme Court.
Russell is director of the American City County Exchange (ACCE), a new offshoot of the American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC), which seeks to replicate ALEC’s state-level successes at the local level. As such, he is well poised to help mobilize, and coordinate, any efforts to bring right-to-work laws to the local level....