Overview of So-Called "Right-to-Work" Laws
So-called “Right-to-Work” legislation is a slick slogan designed to trick people into believing that it protects a worker’s right to a job. Nothing could be further from the truth. So-called "Right-to-Work" legislation assures no worker a job, protects no worker against employer bias or retaliation, and undermines living wages and fair benefits.
The drive for "Right-to-Work" laws began in 1947 with the Taft-Hartley amendements to the National Labor Relations Act. To date, more than 60 years later, less than half of the states in the country have adopted this destructive legislation.
However, the "special-interest" supporters of “Right-to-Work” legislation claim that many states are in the process of passing “Right-to-Work” legislation.
What "special-interest" supporters fail to mention is that all of these states have repeatedly rejected “Right-to-Work” laws even though supporters continue their antiquated campaigns year after year.
Additionally, Colorado voters soundly defeated a “Right-to-Work” ballot initiative in 2008.
Many "special-interest" supporters have selected dubious “facts” that reflect an extreme partisan view point. Many of their assertions are based on myth and ignorance of the current law.
A “Right-to-Work” law is redundant, lowers wages and benefits for all workers, and destroys the tax base for local communities. When real facts are taken into account, it is not economic development strategy driving this issue. Rather, it is an extreme, outdated, partisan agenda.
The real problem with a “Right-to-Work” law and its special-interest supporters is that in their zest and zeal to hurt unions, they hurt non-union workers as well.
The Myth of "Forced" Unionism
In 1947, the was amended to expressly protect the right of workers to not join a union. Specifically, Section 7 of the NLRA expressly states that employees shall have the right to refrain from joining a union.
Further, there are two U.S. Supreme Court cases that special-interest supporters of so-called "Right-to-Work" tend to overlook:
1. In the case, the court ruled that employees could not be forced to join a union under any circumstances.
2. In the 1988 Communications Workers v. Beck (487 U.S. 735) case, the court ruled that workers could not be forced to pay the portion of their union dues that went for political purposes with which they did not agree.
The facts are plain and simple, under the current federal law no worker can be forced to join a union or pay dues for political purposes. “Right-to-Work” laws are out-dated and a throw-back to the anti-union agenda of another era.
“Right-to-Work” laws are simply redundant and unneeded when the current federal law is actually examined.
“Right-to-Work” laws represent destructive economic development policy guided by extreme partisan politics. The goal should be to raise the standard of living for working families, not lower it.
Working families deserve better than an antiquated law designed to raise corporate profits and lower worker wages and benefits.