H.R. 980 Letter


July 16, 2007


Honorable Members
United States House of Representatives
Washington, D.C.

Dear Representative,

You are currently considering H.R. 980, the Public Safety employer-Employee Cooperation Act.  This ill conceived legislation would expand federal power into the area of local labor relations in an unprecedented and dangerous manner.  We, the undersigned organizations, call on you to do everything in your power to defeat this blatant pay-off to organized labor.

H.R. 980, and the Kildee Substitute, fail as positive public policy on a number of counts.  First, and foremost, the legislation would interject the heavy hand of the federal government into one of the most vital public services offered by local governments.  Public safety employees and employers are, today, working in cooperation.  A large portion of public safety employees currently bargain collectively with their employers.  Others, at the discretion and decision of citizens on the local level, do not.  It is a clear violation of the very concept of separation of powers and the concept of local control to now mandate a standard alien to the local desires or needs.

Second, H.R. 980 amounts to an unfunded mandate by Congress on state and local governments.  Inevitably labor policies dictated by federal bureaucrats will increase costs.  These costs, not now deemed relevant or appropriate at the local level, will be bourn by taxes paid at the local level with no financial support from Congress.  It is patently unjust for Congress to impose this burden on local taxpayers, especially when there is no need to do so.

Finally, it is the height of hypocrisy for Congress to dictate local labor policies for public safety employees when it is law that numerous federal public safety employees are
expressly prohibited from engaging in collective bargaining.  Congress has no moral right to impose higher costs, diminished local control, and inflexibility on local governments while it operates in a completely opposition manner.

H.R. 980 is not legislation dealing with public safety or security.  It is a raw, blatant pay-off to union officials.  Failing to attract members on their merits, unions have turned to their allies in Congress to have government impose them on workers.

We call on you to publicly declare your opposition to this destructive legislation.  If, through whatever circumstance, you are listed as a co-sponsor of H.R. 980, we urge you to remove your name from this travesty and join the overwhelming majority of Americans who support the right of localities and states to determine their own labor policies free of the dictates of union officials or the federal government.



Will Fine
Executive Director
National Alliance for Worker and Employer Rights

Grover Norquist
Americans for Tax Reform

Ryan Ellis
Executive Director
Alliance for Worker Freedom

Paul M. Weyrich
National Chairman
Coalitions for America

Richard Falknor
Executive Vice-President
Maryland Taxpayers Association, Inc.

Jim Martin
60+ Association

Colin Hanna
Let Freedom Ring

Dan Tripp
Director of Government Relations
Americans for Limited Government

Tim Phillips
Americans for Prosperity

Chuck Muth
Citizens Outreach

Mike Chmura*
Americans for the Preservation of Liberty

Amy Ridenour*
The National Center for Public Policy Research

*Organizations listed for identification purposes only