After decades of anti-union attacks and stealing a Supreme Court seat, Republicans achieved a long-sought goal in the Abood decision: we now live in a “right to work” nation. This means that workers can benefit from union negotiations without paying dues, which will drive down membership, inevitably weakening the rights of workers everywhere.

Chris Smith has enjoyed union endorsements for years, but he must be judged by the company he keeps and his well-documented disdain for confronting his own party.

Republicans have engaged in extensive campaigns to weaken unions around the country. “Right to work” laws already exist in many GOP controlled states. Those workers have all but lost their collective bargaining power, and their wages and benefits suffer.

As memberships decline, the same will happen to the union workers in Smith’s district. Whatever can be salvaged of union rights will require legislative support, and it is abundantly clear that this will not happen with a Republican majority.

Further, union members should remember Smith’s actions during the ACA and tax debates. He may vote against his party, but he won’t forcefully advocate for your needs.

Josh Welle, Smith’s opponent, supports union rights and believes “organized labor remains critical to fulfilling America’s basic bargain: If you work hard and do your part, you should be able to get ahead and stay ahead.” Smith hasn’t slowed the GOP’s anti-union crusade. It’s time for union members to back Welle, a candidate who will fight for workers and the middle class families they support.

Greg DeLuca

Robbinsville NJ