Many people are confused about what so-called “Right to Work” laws really do. An article by Jennifer Schaubach, Minnesota AFL-CIO Legislative Director, really clarifies the issues surrounding Right to Work. Some of the highlights of her piece are listed below.
What is a "right to work" law?
“A ‘right to work’ law is a state law that stops employers and employees from negotiating an agreement – also known as a union security clause – that requires all workers who receive the benefits of a collective bargaining agreement to pay their share of the costs of representing them. Right to Work laws say that unions must represent every eligible employee, whether he or she pays dues or not. In other words, ‘Right to Work’ laws allow workers to pay nothing and still get all the benefits of union membership.”
Here are some of the "benefits" people who live in states with RTW laws enjoy:
- Working families in states with ‘Right to Work” laws earn lower wages.
- “Right to Work” states spend less on education.
- “Right to Work” states have higher workplace fatality rates.
- Nobody benefits from “Right to Work” laws. While such a law might appear to be an advantage to employers, in truth it is not.
- Even without a “Right to Work” law, a worker cannot be forced to join a union.
- A “Right to Work” law does not protect a worker’s right to a job.
In short, “workers in states with so-called Right-to-Work (RTW) laws have a consistently lower quality of life than in other states - lower wages, higher poverty, less access to health care, poorer education for children - according to data from the U.S. Department of Labor and the U.S. Census Bureau.”
So is a RTW law the right way to go for Wisconsin? Hell no!