By: Mark Mix, President, National Right to Work Legal Defense FoundationLabor Day is a celebration of the efforts of America’s workers. However, the celebration is hollow for millions of American workers because of compulsory unionism.Throughout the United States, over 12 million workers labor under contracts that require them to be a member of, or financially support, a union as a condition of employment. Additionally, millions of more workers are required by law to accept union bosses’ so-called ‘representation,’ thereby losing the right to negotiate their own employment terms.Big Labor thrives on this system of government-granted special privileges based on coercion. Compulsory unionism makes union bosses more unaccountable to rank-and-file workers, as their financial support is absolutely mandatory. This arrangement breeds union boss corruption, extravagance, and abuse. Despite the ‘feel-good’ rhetoric about standing up for workers’ rights, union bosses commonly target independent-minded workers who stand up to them and exercise their individual rights. Such retaliation often takes the form of harassment, firings, and even violence. The National Right to Work Legal Defense Foundation is fighting back for thousands of workers. Compulsory union abuse involves a wide array of tactics. In one recent example, a Hartford, Connecticut-based employee named Patricia Pelletier of the Connecticut Student Loan Foundation became the target of a local union’s harassment campaign after being dissatisfied with the union’s presence in her workplace. Simply for exercising her legal right to circulate an employee petition which allowed Pelletier and her coworkers to ultimately vote out the unwanted Communications Workers of America union local from their workplace, union operatives forged her signature on numerous magazine subscriptions and consumer product solicitations. Pelletier’s home was then flooded with hundreds of unwanted magazines and advertisements. Not only was Pelletier forced to spend several hours each day canceling individual subscriptions, she was also billed for thousands of dollars by various companies which often turned her over to collection agencies. Union agents then raised the stakes by planting cocaine in Pelletier’s office in an effort to frame her. With free legal help from the National Right to Work Legal Defense Foundation, Pelletier filed a fraud and civil conspiracy suit, ultimately forcing a satisfactory settlement. In over 200 cases nationwide, the National Right to Work Foundation is helping workers take a stand for their rights in the face of union boss intimidation, coercion, and even violence. These cases underscore the extreme lengths to which union operatives will go to retaliate against those who do not toe the union line — and are a direct result of compulsory unionism. This Labor Day, Big Labor bosses will dish out their usual Labor Day propaganda about how awful our lives would supposedly be without them. The reality is that millions of workers and indeed our economy are continuing to suffer greatly under the scourge of compulsory unionism. Yet, there are signs that folks are realizing the truth: cooperation is a healthy alternative to compulsion and is the best way to enhance individual liberty while achieving economic progress and raising workers’ living standards. Labor Day should be about honoring the hardworking Americans who make our country’s economy prosper — not union bosses who rely on forced unionism privileges for personal and political gain.