Senate votes today on Rubio-sponsored measure to allow union workers to
earn performance-based raises and bonuses
Don’t Let Union Bosses Stand In The Way Of Higher Pay For A Job Well
By Senator Marco
The basis of the
American Dream is that one can work hard, play by the rules and realize
their potential. But big government policies deny this freedom to
millions of Americans. One of these policies can be fixed when the
Senate votes on the RAISE Act later today.
Under federal law, private-sector union contracts do not just set the
minimum wage employers pay, they also set the maximum wage. Businesses
may not pay more than the union rate without negotiating it.
often say “No” when employers propose rewarding productive workers.
Unions prefer contracts that, to quote Teamsters President Jimmy Hoffa,
“create uniform standards for all employees”—no matter how hard they
work. Only about one-in-five union contracts permit performance pay.
If unionized companies go ahead and pay productive workers higher wages,
the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) will strike them down. This
precedent goes back decades. In NLRB vs. C & C Plywood Corp. (1967) a
business had agreed to pay up to $17.00 an hour (in today’s dollars).
The company announced, over union objections, that everyone would get
$18.50 an hour if they met productivity goals. The NLRB ordered the
company to stop paying the raises, and the Supreme Court upheld the
decision. In sum, companies were forbidden from paying more than the
union rate without the union’s permission.
Even small individual bonuses are illegal. The Brooklyn Hospital Center
in New York gave its best nurses $100 gift cards as a token of
appreciation. The NLRB ordered the hospital to cease and desist.