“Right to work” laws are not about the right to work. They are about the right to underpay for work. They are a fraud and a scam, dressed up in a three-piece suit.
If the Republican Party could have its way, it would bring back the Triangle Shirtwaist Factory, because only regulations can prevent more Triangle Shirtwaist Factories from happening and, in Republican World, regulations are scarey and bad and impinge on the fee hand of the market.
After all, those Triangle Shirtwaist Factory ladies had the right to work. They were at work when they died, weren’t they?*
Martin Luther King, Jr. accurately captured the impact of right-to-work laws in undermining economic justice and genuine democracy back in 1961: “Wherever these laws have been passed, wages are lower, job opportunities are fewer, and there are no civil rights.”
While “right-to-work” advocates among business elites claim to be generously protecting the individual freedom of workers to avoid paying union dues, this display of concern is simply “a fraud,” King declared. “Its purpose is to destroy labor unions and the freedom of collective bargaining by which unions have improved wages and working conditions of everyone.”
Recent data bear out King’s conclusions. The Congressional Research Service concluded in a December, 2012, report that states like Wisconsin, which permitting (sic) “fair-share” or “union-security” provisions showed sharply higher median wages: $50,867 compared with $43,641 in right-to-work states, a 16.5% differential amounting to $7,226 per year. Workers in “right-to-work” states are much less likely to have healthcare and pension benefits as well.
Follow the link. Read the rest.
*Yeah. I’m in a mood. But it’s a legitimate mood.