National Right To Work
“Will you commit to signing into law S. 391 or H.R. 612, the National Right To Work Act, or similar legislation?”
Compulsory unionism – the requirement that an individual join or pay dues to a labor union as a condition of employment – violates that individual’s right to sell his labor as he or she sees fit.
Under current federal law, employees in workplaces covered by a union agreement can be stripped of their right to represent themselves in labor negotiations. Worse, unions can require those employees to pay for the union’s “representation,” even if the employee didn’t ask for it and doesn’t want it. Failure to pay dues can be a cause for termination.
The National Right To Work Act would not add a single sentence to current federal law; instead, it would repeal five provisions in the National Labor Relations Act (NRLA) and one provision in the Railway Labor Act (RLA) that authorize the firing of employees for failure to pay union dues or fees to labor union officials.
Job Growth And Personal Income Grow Faster in Right To Work States
With the enactment of Wisconsin’s Right To Work law early in 2015, exactly half the states have a Right To Work law on their books, either through a provision in their state constitution, or by statute. Research indicates that in Right To Work (RTW) states, job growth is higher, and so is personal income.
For instance, using data from the U.S. Department of Labor Bureau of Labor Statistics, the National Institute for Labor Relations Research (NILRR) has tracked private sector job growth trends for more than a decade. Over the course of the most recent decade for which there is data, private sector job growth in RTW states is up by 6.4 percent; in forced-union states, there was but a 0.4 percent increase.
And when it comes to personal income, there’s just no contest – from 2001-2001, private sector compensation in RTW states grew four times as fast as private sector compensation in forced-union states.
Pushback: “Federal law requires unions to represent all employees at a given company, so right-to-work laws allow non-members to ride free – they can benefit from the compensation packages and work rules negotiated by unions without supporting the union that won them the workplace rules and compensation packages. That’s just not fair.”
Counter: This is a very common pushback. It’s also untrue. Federal law does not obligate unions to represent non-members. In fact, the National Labor Relations Act specifically allows unions to negotiate and sign “members only” labor contracts that apply only to the union’s members.
Pushback: “Right to work laws prohibit unions.”
Counter: Actually, RTW laws simply make the payment of union dues voluntary.
Pushback: “Right to work laws undermine unions.”
RTW laws force unions to earn their members’ support, rather than allow them to take it for granted. This can actually strengthen unions, by requiring them to take their members’ wishes into account when negotiating with management.
Pushback: “Right to work laws lower workers’ wages.”
Counter: Not true at all – in fact, data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics reveals that a comparison of workers’ personal income in RTW states compared to forced union states shows that RTW states have higher personal income, and faster economic growth as well.