What Is "Right To Work" & Why Should We Care If Gov Officials "Like or are Happy" with it?

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What Is “Right To Work” & Why Should We Care If Gov Officials “Like or are Happy” with it?

by April Foulks (Notes) on Thursday, December 27, 2012 at 2:54pm


My original reaction to the following article was this:

“so.. what about “Right to work” doesn’t he like & why?? if the American people don’t have a “right to work” wouldn’t that make them totally dependent on an already grossly in debt government? ohh yeah.. it would also make them totally under government control for their livelihood… I see .. got it…”


Michigan Gov. Rick Snyder: Obama Looked Me In The Eye And Said He “Wasn’t Pleased With Right To Work”…

TAKE A LOOK AT ‘Obama’s Army’ (the Union thugs Obama came to Michigan to lobby for) in video below

Lots of folks scoffed in town when reports surfaced that Democrats had petitioned the President of the United States to insert himself into the unseemly debate over Right to Work. Some asked out loud, doesn’t POTUS have more important things to do than lobby Gov. Rick Snyder on that?

But lobby the president did.

During an exclusive one-hour sit down on WKAR-Public TV, the governor confirms that he and President Barack Obama shared a few minutes in private and the president looked the governor in the eye and said, “He wasn’t pleased with Right to Work,” Mr. Snyder reveals for the first time.

And the governor’s response?

Short, sweet and to the point. “I said thank you for sharing that with me.”

And that was it?

“Pretty much, yeah,” the GOP governor glibly recalls.



BUT after doing some research…

“ok, so I’ve looked up what the “right To Work” Law is… the name itself is misleading, and does not mean what it says!”

Now my question is:

this gov had the president’s full undivided attention… WHY did he not take advantage of it & ask specific questions like:

  • 1. What is it you’re not happy with?
  • 2. Why?
  • 3. What changes do you think should be made?
  • 4. Why?
  • 5. Are there compromises that you would be willing to make?
  • 6. WHY? ….

Below are several sources of what the “Right To Work” Law says & is about…

for reference sources & other information please see the original reference source.


Right-to-work law

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia


A right-to-work law is a statute in the United States of America that prohibits union security agreements, or agreements between labor unions and employers that govern the extent to which an established union can require employees’ membership, payment of union dues, or fees as a condition of employment, either before or after hiring. “Right-to-work” laws do not, as the short phrase might suggest, aim to provide a general guarantee of employment to people seeking work, but rather are a government regulation of the contractual agreements between employers and labor unions that prevents them from excluding non-union workers[1], or requiring employees to pay a fee to unions that have negotiated the labor contract the workers work under.

Right-to-work laws exist in twenty-four U.S. states, mostly in the southern and western United States but also in central states such as Michigan. Business interests represented by the Chamber of Commerce have lobbied extensively to pass right-to-work legislation.

Such laws are allowed under the 1947 federal Taft–Hartley Act. A further distinction is often made within the law between those employed by state and municipal governments and those employed by the private sector with states that are otherwise union shop (i.e., pay union dues or lose the job) having right to work laws in effect for government employees.

The Taft–Hartley Act (1947)

    Before Congress passed the Taft–Hartley Act over President Harry S. Truman’s veto in 1947, unions and employers covered by the National Labor Relations Act could lawfully agree to a closed shop, in which employees at unionized workplaces must be members of the union as a condition of employment. Before the Taft-Hartley amendments, an employee who ceased being a member of the union for whatever reason, from failure to pay dues to expulsion from the union as an internal disciplinary punishment, could also be fired even if the employee did not violate any of the employer’s rules.

The Taft–Hartley Act outlawed the closed shop. The union shop rule, which required all new employees to join the union after a minimum period after their hire, is also illegal. Under the law, it is illegal for any employer to force an employee to join a union.

A similar arrangement to the union shop is the agency shop, under which employees must pay the equivalent of union dues, but need not formally join such union.

Section 14(b) of the Taft–Hartley Act goes further and authorizes individual states (but not local governments, such as cities or counties) to outlaw the union shop and agency shop for employees working in their jurisdictions. Under the open shop rule, an employee cannot be compelled to join or pay the equivalent of dues to a union, nor can the employee be fired if he joins the union. In other words, the employee has the right to work for a willing employer, regardless of whether or not he is a member or financial contributor to such a union.

The Federal Government operates under open shop rules nationwide, though many of its employees are represented by unions. Unions that represent professional athletes have written contracts that include exclusive representation provisions (for example in the National Football League), but their application is limited to “wherever and whenever legal,” as the Supreme Court has clearly held that the application of a Right to Work law is determined by the employee’s “predominant job situs.” Hence, players on professional sports teams in states with Right to Work laws are protected by those laws, and cannot be required to pay any portion of union dues as a condition of continued employment.

Twenty-six states and the District of Columbia do not have right-to-work laws.

Proponents of right-to-work laws point to the Constitutional right to freedom of association, as well as the common-law principle of private ownership of property. They argue that workers should be free to join unions and to refrain, and thus sometimes refer to non-right-to-work states as forced unionism states.

Proponents such as the Mackinac Center for Public Policy contend that it is unfair that unions can require new and existing employees to either join the union or pay fair share fees for collective bargaining expenses as a condition of employment under union security agreement contracts.

A 2008 editorial in The Wall Street Journal comparing job growth in Ohio and Texas stated that from 1998 to 2008, Ohio lost 10,400 jobs, while Texas gained 1,615,000. The opinion piece suggested right-to-work laws might be among the reasons for the economic expansion in Texas, along with the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA), and the absence of a state income tax in Texas. Another Wall Street Journal editorial in 2012, by the president and the labor policy director of the Mackinac Center for Public Policy, reported 71% employment growth in right-to-work states from 1980 to 2011, while employment in non-right-to-work states grew just 32% during the same period. The 2012 editorial also stated that since 2001, compensation in right-to-work states had increased 4 times faster than in other states.

In a sense, Nobel laureate economist F.A. Hayek endorsed right-to-work laws, writing:

    If legislation, jurisdiction, and the tolerance of executive agencies had not created privileges for the unions, the need for special legislation concerning them would probably not have arisen in common-law countries. But, once special privileges have become part of the law of the land, they can be removed only by special legislation. Though there ought to be no need for special ‘right-to-work laws,’ it is difficult to deny that the situation created in the United States by legislation and by the decisions of the Supreme Court may make special legislation the only practicable way of restoring the principles of freedom. Footnote: Such legislation, to be consistent with our principles, should not go beyond declaring certain contracts invalid, which is sufficient for removing all pretext to action to obtain them. It should not, as the title of the ‘right-to-work laws’ may suggest, give individuals a claim to a particular job, or even (as some of the laws in force in certain American states do) confer a right to damages for having denied a particular job, when the denial is not illegal on other grounds. The objections against such provisions are the same as those that apply to ‘fair employment practices’ laws.

Some opponents (such as Richard Kahlenberg and Moshe Z. Marvit) have argued that while a wonderfully effective political slogan, “right-to-work” is a misnomer because the lack of such a law does not deprive anyone of the right to work, it simply “gives employees the right to be free riders–to benefit from collective bargaining without paying for it” Khalenberg and Marvit also argue that at least in efforts to pass a right-to-work law in Michigan, the exclusion of police and firefighter unions — traditionally more friendly to Republicans — from the law, belied claims that the law was simply an effort to improve Michigan’s businesses climate, not to seek partisan advantage.

Opponents argue that right-to-work laws restrict freedom of association, and limit on the sorts of agreements individuals acting collectively can make with their employer, by prohibiting workers and employers from agreeing to contracts that include “fair share fees”. This creates a free rider problem among non-union employees who find the union contract beneficial. Thus, union members may end up subsidizing non-union members.

In 2000, the AFL-CIO union federation argued that by weakening unions, the laws create a race to the bottom[citation needed], leading to lower wages and worse safety and health conditions for workers. A race to the bottom can result in low-level equilibrium, where states are unable to raise labor standards for fear of capital flight. For these reasons, unions refer to right-to-work states as “right to work for less” states or “right-to-fire” states, and to non-right-to-work states as “free collective bargaining” states.

Critics from organized labor have argued since the late 1970s that while the National Right to Work Committee purports to engage in grass-roots lobbying on behalf of the “little guy”, the National Right to Work Committee was formed by a group of southern businessmen with the express purpose of fighting unions, and that they “added a few workers for the purpose of public relations”.

According to Tim Bartik of the W. E. Upjohn Institute for Employment Research, studies of the impact of right-to-work laws on jobs and wages abound, but none of them make its effects cut and dried. Thomas Holmes argues that it is difficult to analyze right-to-work laws by comparing states due to other similarities between states that have passed these laws. For instance, right-to-work states often have a number of strong pro-business policies, making it difficult to isolate the effect of right-to-work laws. Looking at the growth of states in the Southeast following World War II, Bartik notes that while they have right-to-work laws they have also benefited from “factors like the wide-spread use of air conditioning and different modes of transportation that helped decentralize manufacturing”.

Economist Thomas Holmes, compared counties close to the border between states with and without right-to-work laws (thereby holding constant an array of factors related to geography and climate). He found that the cumulative growth of employment in manufacturing in the right-to-work states was 26 percentage points greater than that in the non-right-to-work states. However, given the study design, Holmes points out “my results do not say that it is right-to-work laws that matter, but rather that the ‘probusiness package’ offered by right-to-work states seems to matter”. Moreover, as noted by Kevin Drum and others, this result may reflect business relocation rather than overall enhancement of economic growth, since “businesses prefer locating in states where costs are low and rules are lax”.

A February 2011 Economic Policy Institute study found:

    Wages in right-to-work states are 3.2% lower than those in non-RTW states, after controlling for a full complement of individual demographic and socioeconomic variables as well as state macroeconomic indicators. Using the average wage in non-RTW states as the base ($22.11), the average full-time, full-year worker in an RTW state makes about $1,500 less annually than a similar worker in a non-RTW state. The study goes on to say “How much of this difference can be attributed to RTW status itself? There is an inherent “endogeneity” problem in any attempt to answer that question, namely that RTW and non-RTW states differ on a wide variety of measures that are also related to compensation, making it difficult to isolate the impact of RTW status.”

    The rate of employer-sponsored health insurance (ESI) is 2.6 percentage points lower in RTW states compared with non-RTW states, after controlling for individual, job, and state-level characteristics. If workers in non-RTW states were to receive ESI at this lower rate, 2 million fewer workers nationally would be covered.

    The rate of employer-sponsored pensions is 4.8 percentage points lower in RTW states, using the full complement of control variables in [the study’s] regression model. If workers in non-RTW states were to receive pensions at this lower rate, 3.8 million fewer workers nationally would have pensions.

    In 2009, the unemployment rate was 8.6% in the RTW states; 9.6% in the non-RTW states.

The following states are right-to-work states:


    Arizona † (Constitution, 1912, State Constitution Article 25)

    Arkansas † (Constitution, 1947, Amendment 34)

    Florida † (Constitution, 1968, Article 2, Section 6)



    Indiana[30] (State law, 2012)


    Kansas † (Constitution, 1958, Article 15, Section 12)


    Michigan[31] (State law, 2012)

    Mississippi †

    Nebraska ††


    North Carolina

    North Dakota

    Oklahoma †

    South Carolina

    South Dakota






In addition, the territory of Guam also has right-to-work laws, and employees of the US Federal Government have the right to choose whether or not to join their respective unions.

† An employee’s right to work is established under the state Constitution, not under legislative action.

†† An employee’s right to work is established under the state Constitution, and there is also a statute.

^ Campbell, Simon. “Right-to-Work vs Forced Unionism”. StopTeacherStrikes, Inc.. Retrieved November 14, 2012. “Fair share is compulsory dues. A non-union employee is forced to financially support an organization they did not vote for, in order to receive monopoly representation they have no choice over. It is financial coercion and a violation of freedom of choice. Money is forcibly withheld from non-union employees’ paychecks and sent to a private organization. When an agency-shop agreement exists in a school district or county, every employee must pay dues to the union as a condition of their employment. They must pay-up or leave. Should anyone’s ability to get or keep a job depend on whether they pay dues to a union? Non-union teachers have struggled in court to try and stop their forced dues from being used for political activity by the union.”

    ^ Enforcing OSHA: The Role of Labor Unions| DAVID WEIL| Industrial Relations: A Journal of Economy and Society| Volume 30, Issue 1, pages 20–36, January 1991|

    Abstract: “This study examines the role of unions in implementing the Occupational Safety and Health Act (OSHA) by using a data set that provides information on regulatory enforcement. The analysis demonstrates that unionized establishments are more likely to receive safety and health inspections, face greater scrutiny in the course of those inspections, and pay higher penalties for violating health and safety standards than comparable nonunion establishments. Implementation of OSHA therefore seems highly dependent upon the presence of a union at the workplace.”

After reading the above article I went to the next site…

According to this page, Right To Work is suppose to PROTECT employees from having to Join anything… here is what it says:

Right to Work Frequently-Asked Questions


What is the Right to Work principle?

The Right to Work principle–the guiding concept of the National Right to Work Legal Defense Foundation–affirms the right of every American to work for a living without being compelled to belong to a union. Compulsory unionism in any form–“union,” “closed,” or “agency” shop–is a contradiction of the Right to Work principle and the fundamental human right that the principle represents. The National Right to Work Committee advocates that every individual must have the right, but must not be compelled, to join a labor union. The National Right to Work Legal Defense Foundation assists employees who are victimized because of their assertion of that principle.

How does the National Right to Work Legal Defense Foundation differ from the National Right to Work Committee?

The National Right to Work Legal Defense Foundation and the National Right to Work Committee are separate and distinct organizations, however, their work is complementary.

The Foundation works solely through the courts to assist employees whose human or civil rights have been violated by abuses of compulsory unionism.

The Committee, founded in 1955, lobbies the Congress and state legislatures for the elimination of all forms of forced unionism. It also conducts a nationwide educational program on the Right to Work principle.

What is a Right to Work law?

A Right to Work law guarantees that no person can be compelled, as a condition of employment, to join or not to join, nor to pay dues to a labor union. Section 14(b) of the Taft-Hartley Act affirms the right of states to enact Right to Work laws. The 23 states which have passed Right to Work laws are:

Alabama, Arizona, Arkansas, Kansas, Florida, Georgia, Idaho, Indiana, Iowa, Louisiana, Mississippi, Nebraska, Nevada, North Carolina, North Dakota, Oklahoma, South Carolina, South Dakota, Tennessee, Texas,Utah, Virginia, and Wyoming.

Is Right to Work “anti-union”?

The National Right to Work Legal Defense Foundation is neither “anti-union” nor “pro-union.” The focus is on individual freedom. The Foundation affirms the right of all Americans to be free of compulsory unionism abuses.

How does compulsory unionism affect government policy?

Compulsory unionism is primarily responsible for the Tax-and-Spend policies of the U.S. Congress. Under their federally-granted coercive powers, union officials collect some $4.5 billion annually in compulsory dues and funnel much of it into unreported campaign operations to elect and control congressional majorities dedicated to higher taxes and increased government spending.

“[U]nions have greatly increased their financial commitment to political activity in recent election cycles ” as a way to achieve in the political process the gains that have eluded them at the bargaining table,” economist James T. Bennett wrote in the Winter 1991 issue of the Journal of Labor Research. His authoritative study revealed that, despite membership losses, the total income ($11.5 billion annually) of private sector unions is at an all-time high. Union income, in inflation-adjusted dollars, has more than doubled in the past 30 years.

What is “exclusive representation”?

“Exclusive representation” is the special coercive privilege, given by federal law, that empowers union officials to represent all employees in a company’s bargaining unit. This “compulsory union representation” deprives employees, even in Right to Work states, of their right to bargain for themselves. Union officials demand this power, then use it as their excuse to force employees to pay dues for representation they do not want.

What rights do employees in non-Right to Work states have?

Certain rights of employees not covered by a state Right to Work law have been established by U.S. Supreme Court rulings. Employees can choose whether or not to join a union and union members may resign their union membership. Nonmembers can only be required to pay for their proportionate part of the union’s proven bargaining costs. They may not be compelled to pay any fees until the costs have been stated and explained and can challenge the costs as provided by the union. Employees whose sincere religious beliefs prevent them from joining or paying any money to the union also have special rights.

What effect does a Right to Work law have on a state’s standard of living?

The National Right to Work Committee has called attention to the fact that Right to Work states enjoy a higher standard of living than do non-Right to Work states. Families in Right to Work states, on average, have greater after-tax income and purchasing power than do those families living in non-Right to Work states, independent studies reveal. What’s more, Right to Work states have greater economic vitality, official Department of Labor statistics show, with faster growth in manufacturing and nonagricultural jobs, lower unemployment rates and fewer work stoppages.

     “So… WHY are people being FIRED if they don’t join a union or any other organization??”

Wall Street Journal has this to say:


By Jennifer Smith


It’s simple, really. Employees in states with right-to-work laws can’t be forced to join a union or pay union dues in order to retain their jobs.

Indiana—where WSJ reports that House Democrats failed to block the bill from coming to a vote–would be the 23rd state to pass such a law. It is one of the first states to do in an industrialized area that traditionally had a large, unionized workforce.  We’ve included a handy map from the National Right to Work Legal Defense Foundation, a non-profit that supports such laws.

***see site for map**

Organized labor groups such as the AFL-CIO oppose such laws, saying they depress wages and erode working conditions. They argue that all workers at union shops benefit from contracts negotiated by the union on behalf of its members, and that right-to-work laws give a “free ride” to workers who don’t contribute.

Backers of these laws say they allow workers to decide for themselves whether to join or financially support a union. In Indiana, supporters say the bill will lure more businesses there. Republican Presidential candidate Ron Paul has advocated a National Right to Work Law that would outlaw union-only shops.

Federal labor law says that employers and unions can agree to require that workers be members of the unions to hold a job—what’s known as a “closed shop.” But states have the ability to override that if they pass laws specifically banning such contracts. Some industries are exempt: federally regulated railway or airline industries, and employees of private contractors on some federal properties.

Research on the economic benefits of right-to-work laws have been mixed. A 2011 briefing paper from the Economic Policy Institute—a non-profit think tank that supports policies to improve economic conditions for low-wage workers—found that employees right-to-work states had lower wages and reductions in health and pension benefits.

Others dispute those findings, as outlined in this fact sheet from the National Institute for Labor Relations Research, a non-profit devoted to “analyzing and exposing the inequities of compulsory unionism.”



also has a Q & A that goes like this:

January 22, 2012 12:00 am  •  By Dan Carden dan.carden@nwi.com, (317) 637-9078

(0) Comments

INDIANAPOLIS | The Indiana House and Senate are likely to vote on separate but nearly identical right-to-work proposals this week, even as a recent poll finds nearly half of Hoosiers don’t know what right-to-work is.

The following questions and answers are intended to cut through the political rhetoric and present the facts about right-to-work.

What does the right-to-work legislation (House Bill 1001, Senate Bill 269) say?

A business may not require an individual to become or remain a member of a labor organization; or pay dues, fees, assessments or other charges of any kind or amount to a labor organization as a condition of employment.

Each employee could sue for damages, a $1,000 fine, attorney fees and court costs if a business directly or indirectly violates or threatens to violate the law.

The legislation does not guarantee anyone a job.

Who wants right-to-work?

Top Republicans, including Gov. Mitch Daniels and House Speaker Brian Bosma, and the Indiana Chamber of Commerce are the leading proponents of right-to-work.


They claim Indiana is disqualified in as many as half of company relocation competitions because the state doesn’t have a right-to-work law, causing Hoosiers to miss out on thousands of potential new jobs.

Is that true?

It’s hard to know. The Indiana Economic Development Corp., a state agency, says it’s prohibited by confidentiality agreements with businesses from providing a list of companies that bypassed Indiana because the state doesn’t have a right-to-work law.

Who’s opposed to right-to-work?

All Democrats in the General Assembly, some Republican lawmakers and the state’s labor unions.


Most Democrats believe right-to-work is intended to weaken labor unions because they tend to support Democratic candidates for office. Republicans opposed to right-to-work don’t want government dictating the terms of business contracts.

How does right-to-work weaken unions?

Most businesses with union workers require nonunion employees to pay fees for collective bargaining and grievance services, which federal law requires unions provide to all employees if the union is the exclusive bargaining agent. Unions don’t have to be exclusive agents but almost always are because businesses prefer to deal with only one union.

Under right-to-work, nonunion employees don’t have to pay those fees, but unions still have to provide them services. That leaves union members footing the bill and reduces the resources available to negotiate effectively, unions say.

How does this end?

The votes expected in the House and Senate this week are only the halfway point for right-to-work. Each chamber must still approve the other’s work and members of both chambers likely will have to meet in a conference committee to agree on a final bill that will be voted on again by the House and Senate.

Look for right-to-work to remain a divisive issue until the Legislature adjourns in March.

If right-to-work passes, unions will work to defeat lawmakers who voted for it in hope of repealing it, as they did in 1965 after Indiana enacted right-to-work in 1957.

If it fails, Daniels will be handed perhaps the biggest defeat of his governorship, and Bosma and Senate President David Long, R-Fort Wayne, will be severely weakened as legislative leaders. All three men are expected to do all they can to ensure it passes.

And the last reference I’ll list here is The National Right To Work Committee …

The National Right To Work Committee


which has a bunch of links & places to support this law, but you will have to click individual links to find anything!

Please follow up with what YOUR state law says about The Right To Work Laws in your area.


One thought on “What Is "Right To Work" & Why Should We Care If Gov Officials "Like or are Happy" with it?

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