The Truth About Right-to-Work Laws

  • Federal law already prohibits any American from being forced to join a union. Since this is almost the only argument that conservatives put forth in supporting right-to-work laws, and it's 100 percent false, what is the real motivation for these laws?


  • Right-to-work laws don't grant any rights, they simply weaken unions


  • Workers (union and non-union) in right-to-work states make more than $5,000 a year less, on average, than in other states.


  • States without right-to-work laws have healthier tax bases, which leads to better government programs and educational systems


  • Because unions lead in the fight to ensure safety and health standards for all workers, laws that weaken unions also weaken these standards. The workplace death rate is 51 percent higher in right-to-work states


  • Without strong unions to fight for benefits for workers, right-to-work states have 21 percent more people without health insurance


  • The infant mortality rate in right-to-work states is 16 percent higher


  • Without strong unions to fight for better wages for all workers, the poverty rate in right-to-work states is 2.3 percent higher


  • Right-to-work states offer a maximum weekly worker compensation benefit $30 less than other states


  • Right-to-work laws disproportionately harm women. Union women, on average, earn $149 more per week than non-union women


  • The wage gap between men and women in the United States is 32 percent. it is only 5 percent between union men and women


  • Right-to-work laws disproportionately harm people of color. Hispanic and Latino union members earn 45 percent more and African-Americans who are in unions see salaries 30 percent higher than African-Americans that are not in unions


  • The more workers that are unionized, the higher the wages that employers will offer, even to non-union workers, since workers are less willing to accept substandard wages


  • Higher wages mean more money is spent by working families, boosting the economy and leading to lower uneployment numbers


  • Higher rates of unionism lead to increases in productivity in both union jobs and non-union jobs, as employers must bring in new technology, new techniques and better training in order to attract better workers


  • Employers frequently offer higher wages to workers in order to prevent them from organizing a union, meaning that even the presence of unions and the possibility of their existence in a workplace increases wages


  • Right-to-work laws undercut unionized businesses in the states where they exist because non-union businesses can offer cheaper goods and services by exploiting their workers


  • Right-to-work laws interfere with empoyer-worker contracts by limiting what the two sides can engage in. These laws don't encourage freedom, they restrain it for all involved, placing the 'wisdom' of conservative politicians over that of both empoyers and workers


     Simply put, the right to work movement in this country is a tool utilized by the conservative far right

     to attempt to fool Americans .... to work for less.