Right to Work

Workers who live in so-called Right-To-Work states – union or non-union earn $1,500 less per year than non Right-To-Work states

From the Resolutions from UWUA 30th Constitutional Convention:

STOP ANTI-WORKER “RIGHT-TO-WORK”

The term “right-to-work” is designed to mislead workers into believing that their individual power is equal to their employer’s power. “Right-to-work” assures no worker a job, protects no worker against employer bias or management retaliation, and undermines a worker’s right to union representation and the ability to build a strong union that bargains for fair wages and benefits.

“Right-to-work” laws encourage employers to diminish worker pay, benefits, and employment security.

“Right-to-work” laws foster disunity by encouraging workers to freeload on their union sisters and brothers by enjoying the good wages, benefits and job protections negotiated by union members without sharing the costs of winning those gains.

While proponents of “right-to-work” promote their agenda in terms of economic development and democracy, their true motive is to deny unions and workers funding for bargaining and political power. The goal of “right-to-work” is to marginalize unions and strip workers of the voice they have achieved through collective action.

“Right-to-work” laws encourage employers to diminish worker pay, benefits, and employment security.

The impact on workers is actually the “right-to-work-for-less.”

In states with laws restricting workers’ rights to form unions, the average pay for all workers is lower. In 2013, it was $5,971 (12.2 %) less than workers in free bargaining states. “Right-to-work” states also have higher rates of poverty and workplace fatalities, and lower rates of health insurance coverage.

The 2010 and 2014 general elections resulted in conservative majorities in state legislatures and governorships across the U.S. Having bought anti-worker politicians, corporations now are pushing for the elimination of core worker rights and protections. Twenty-five states have enacted “right-to- work” policies. No one is safe. The agenda has advanced even in historic labor and UWUA strongholds such as Michigan, Ohio, Indiana, and Pennsylvania.

In states with laws restricting workers’ rights to form unions, the average pay for all workers is lower. In 2013, it was $5,971 (12.2 %) less than workers in free bargaining states.

Anti-worker laws can be defeated. After Ohio enacted “right-to-work” laws that stripped public employees of their bargaining rights, eliminated arbitration, raised employee health costs and limited seniority rights, Ohio UWUA locals, working with the State AFL-CIO, organized a signature drive to place the law on the ballot for a public vote. As a result of those efforts, the laws were repealed by a vote of 62%.

The UWUA strongly opposes “right-to-work” laws and supports efforts to repeal such laws. The UWUA condemns the activities of corporate financed “right-to-work” groups who promote anti-union strategies for ever-greater profit. The UWUA calls on the National Labor Relations Board to strike a more reasonable balance between worker organizations and corporations in states where “right-to-work” has been enacted, mandating “fair share” fees for non-dues paying workers who have the benefits of union contracts and representation.

The UWUA condemns the activities of corporate financed “right-to-work” groups who promote anti-union strategies for ever-greater profit.

The UWUA urges our local unions facing the burdens of “right-to- work” laws to strengthen our bonds with our members and maintain full membership. The UWUA opposes all initiatives to enact new “right-to-work” legislation, and opposes the efforts of all “right-to-work” groups. The UWUA calls on workers to compare compensation levels of free states versus “right-to-work” states to appreciate the value of the right to unionize and to act to defeat anti-worker legislation in their own state.

RIGHT-TO-WORK IN MICHIGAN

The labor movement agrees with the governor that we must do what is best for the citizens of Michigan. The best way to reinvent our state is for everyone, labor and management, to work together on job creation, job training and education – like labor and management did in the auto industry.

There are some basic economic facts that should inform any thoughtful discussion of Right to Work legislation. Workers, union or nonunion, make an average of $1,500 less per year in Right to Work states. They are also less likely to have pension or health care benefits. http://www.epi.org/publication/right-to-work-michigan-economy/

The growth rate for Right to Work states before they adopted such policies is actually higher than the growth rate for these states after they adopted these laws. http://higginslabor.nd.edu/about/current-projects/

The Michigan labor movement remains committed to working with anyone who prioritizes the creation of family-sustaining jobs instead rather than partisan politics. Ordinary citizens across the state are counting on their elected officials to hear them out on this issue, and will continue to make their voices heard.