The libertarian principle on which the legitimacy of labor unions depends is freedom of association. Any person has a natural right to associate with any other person or group for any purpose that does not trespass against the natural rights of third parties and provided the relationship is voluntary. Conversely, any person has a natural right to refrain from association with any other person or group no matter how fervently the other parties may desire the association. Labor unions that respect each person's freedom of association are legitimate. American labor unions, formed and operated under the National Labor Relations Act (NLRA), are not. There are several reasons for this fact, but three are especially important.

First, the NLRA forbids workers individually to choose whether a union ...

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