Wednesday, December 18, 2013

Are right-to-work laws slavery?

By SEAN HIGGINS
Are so-called “right-to-work” laws the equivalent of slavery? That’s one argument Big Labor is making to try to counter them. Their case is an absurd stretch, but nevertheless worth looking at because it serves as a good primer on what these laws actually do.  Right-to-work laws prohibit individual workers from being required to either join a union or pay dues to one as a condition of employment. In other words, without right-to-work laws, if you want a job at a unionized workplace, you have to support its union.
The point is that the individual gets to decide whether they want to join or not. Unions are perfectly legal in right-to-work states, they just have to be exclusively voluntary organizations.  The catch here is that most union contracts with management guarantee that they are the "sole bargaining representative" for employees. So when workers drop out, legally only the union can represent them in matters with their employer.  This is the crux of the union’s slavery argument: Right-to-work laws put them in the position of having to provide union services for free to nonmembers…… How do unions become the sole bargaining representative in the first place? Because they demand it during their contract negotiations with management. But nothing prevents unions from negotiating “members-only” contracts in which they only represent people who voluntarily join the union.…… So is it slavery if the unions push for contracts that put them in this position should a state adopt a right-to-work law? The obvious answer is no. They have only themselves to blame for this situation…..To Read More….

No comments: