Across the country, workers are facing legislative attacks on their rights to form unions and bargain collectively, including so-called right-to-work legislation.
Right-to-work laws make it optional for workers covered by a union contract to help pay for the expenses that the union incurs while protecting the rights of all employees. Contrary to claims from its supporters, right to work offers no protection or economic benefits for workers. In fact., studies show that these deceptively titled laws drive down wages, benefits, and overall living standards for everyone. And research reveals that right-to-work laws do not create jobs or improve a state’s business climate.
Here’s why right-to-work is wrong for workers, businesses, our economy.
Wrong for workers
These laws drive down wages for all workers, including non-union members, women, and people of color. Workers living in right-to-work states earn less per year than workers in states without these laws. The wage penalty is even higher for women and minorities.
Workers are less likely to have health insurance. The rate of employer-sponsored health insurance for workers in right-to-work states is lower than in states without these restrictions.
Workplaces are more dangerous. According to data from the bureau of labor statistics, the rate of workplace deaths is higher in right-to-work states
Wrong for businesses
Right-to-work laws do not improve business conditions in states.
Right-to-work laws are not a deciding factor in where business locate.
High-tech companies that provide good paying American jobs favor states where unions have a strong presence, because unions provide a highly skilled workforce and decrease turnover.
Wrong for the economy
Communities lose jobs when wages are lowered by right-to-work. The Economic Policy Institute estimates that for every $1 million in wage cuts, the local economy shed six jobs.
Right-to-work does not improve the employment rate. In fact, eight of the 12 states with the highest unemployment have right-to-work laws.
Right-to-work supporters falsely claim that right to work protects workers who don’t want to join a union or disagree with a union’s politics. But federal law already protects workers who don’t want to join a union or make political contributions.
Right to work’s true purpose is to hurt the ability of unions to advocate for all workers and serve as a check on corporate greed.