Labor Watch

Big Labor Sues to Preserve the Specter of Lockdown

We noted that the specter of the COVID-19 lockdowns hangs as a miasma most persistently over those areas of life most controlled by Big Labor. Mask mandates and school closures became commonplace, with mandatory vaccination “passports” threatening to bring the totalitarian “papers please” to these erstwhile “Free and Independent States,” coupled with the fear that house arrest is one test away from coming back.

As it so often does, Big Labor has taken official action to prove our point, by suing the federal government for not issuing an order requiring, among other things, compulsory masking of vaccinated workers in every physical workplace in the United States.

Lockdown by Federal Regulation

As states and municipalities lift lockdown orders, mask mandates, and ostensibly COVID-related “states of emergency,” the federal government is stepping in to make sure Americans do not get their freedoms back as they understood them in mid-2019. The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) issued regulations targeting health care settings and “guidance”—federal “guidance” is never fully free of the coercive might of a state, especially after the chief executive casually suggests dissenters fear the full force of the U.S. nuclear arsenal.

“Social distancing,” mask mandates, and other recommendations and rules are familiar to anyone who hasn’t been in a coma since March 2020. Mercifully, our have exempted vaccinated workers outside health care from “protection,” but Bloomberg Law reported that an earlier draft of the regulations would have required masking and “social distancing” in all workplaces regardless of vaccination.

Not Good Enough for Big Labor

Stringent infection control protocols make sense in a health care setting involving the direct treatment of COVID patients—the principal aim of the enacted rules. But that is not quite good enough for Big Labor. The AFL-CIO sued the federal government, arguing that not wielding the sword of lockdown and forced masking against non–health care employers “fails to protect employees outside the healthcare industry who face a similar grave danger from occupational exposure to COVID-19.”

Big Labor’s Tyranny

Big Labor’s emphasis on oppressive, uncomfortable, and fundamentally unnecessary (in the case of vaccinated workers outside health care) regulations and methods calls to mind C.S. Lewis’s dictum:

Of all tyrannies, a tyranny sincerely exercised for the good of its victims may be the most oppressive. It would be better to live under robber barons than under omnipotent moral busybodies. The robber baron’s cruelty may sometimes sleep, his cupidity may at some point be satiated; but those who torment us for our own good will torment us without end for they do so with the approval of their own conscience.

Focus intently on the last line of the quotation, because it applies to more of Big Labor’s ideology and practice than just forcing Americans to wear face diapers. Ending secret ballots? Forcing dissenters to pay for abortion, critical race theory, and gun control advocacy? Lining the pockets of corrupt union officers?

To Big Labor, it is all for the worker’s own good, so a massive increase in coercive power like the Protecting the Right to Organize Act (H.R. 842) is not only just but morally obligatory.

So Big Labor will sue to put the diaper back on your face. It’s for your own good, after all.


Michael Watson

Michael is Research Director for Capital Research Center and serves as the managing editor for InfluenceWatch. A graduate of the College of William and Mary, he previously worked for a…
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