Why Everyone is So Fussed About “Right to Work”

Perhaps you may have noticed a district grumbling noise coming from the pro-Labor folks Michigan ways. We’ve just been made a “Right to Work” state and we are not happy about it. In case you are wondering why, I’ve rounded up a few facts here for you:

"Right to Work": There is no such thing as a "forced union" state. You cannot be forced to join a union. Right to work eliminates a union’s ability to charge dues to workforces protected by a union contract. Unions cannot force anyone in that workforce to join a union. $1500 a year more: the average amount per year a worker will make in a non-RTW state. 33%: the percentage by which workers in a RTW state are more likely to die in workplace accidents. It affects women more than men: women in RTW states make 4.4% less than in non-RTW states; men in RTW states make 1.7% less than in non-RTW states. It affects POC more than white workers: Black workers in RTW states make 4.8% less than in non-RTW states; white workers in RTW states make 3% less than in non-RTW states. Right to Work is the Right to Work For Less.

For those curious about the numbers, they come from these two sources:

The Economic Policy Institute

The Bureau of Labor Statistics

By Opifex

Opifex is a former art student, unrepentant nerd, and occasional annoying liker of things before they were cool. She keeps two sets of polyhedral dice in her purse, in case the first set stops being lucky. That's kind of how she rolls.

5 replies on “Why Everyone is So Fussed About “Right to Work””

My state has been RTW longer than I’ve been alive. Not only are all of these things true, in an RTW state, employers can fire without warning and without giving a reason. Which means people are often fired due to legally protected disabilities, political/spiritual views, race/ethnicity, sexual orientation, physical sex, gender identity, even because of a petty disagreement with an employer.

Why any worker would vote for RTW laws is beyond me.

Thing is, you cannot be forced to join a union. When unions negotiate a contract for a workforce, it’s for the whole workforce. Used to be that the union could then charge dues to those working under the terms of that contract even if they didn’t join because they were getting the benifit of the contract, now they can’t. That is all this does. It denies unions funds from contract negotiations.

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