Throughout the years, contested debate over Right-to-Work laws has persisted sparking widespread flare among various groups. Right-to-Work laws give employees the choice of joining a union, but at the same time promote preferring, the practice of enjoying union benefits without paying for them. This paper examines the difference between Right-to-Work and Non-Right-to-Work states, keeping in mind that this Is not a pro-nylon/anta-nylon matter. Although Right-etc)-Work laws appear to point towards economic growth, they are designed to weaken and destroy unions.
The main focus of this paper is the major preferring problem, but it also examines the benefits and disadvantages of right-to-work states. More specifically, this paper highlights the conception that Right-to-Work laws are ineffective in the matter that they do not allow a union to function correctly. To start, the background information and foundation of the modern day unions Is Integral. It is undeniable that they set basic worker rights In the rand sass’s. However, how unions originated and what they are today Is very different. Onions came from Guilds that date back as early as 300 AD. They were armed as confraternities of workers, sort of something between a trade union, a cartel and a secret society. The ancient guilds existed in India, Asia, Europe, and even Rome. The modern labor unions we hear about today, such as the AAU, originated in the 19th century during the Industrial Revolution. During this period there was a rapid expansion In manufacturing, resulting In unsafe working conditions. Long hours, and low pay. It was not uncommon for people to work 12 to 14 hour shifts on a daily basis.
In 1914, the Federal Government passed the Clayton Act, which specified, “The labor of a human being is not a commodity or article of amerce. ” This paved the way for modern Unions. It was in this that helped form the unions we are familiar with today (Information Center, 2009). A union is defined as an organized group of employees that form together to participate In collective bargaining with their common employer. Basically, that means that all of the employees get together and demand x from their boss, typically threatening to go on strike if they don’t get what they want.
There are three steps to forming a union. Step one is to know your rights. Federal and state laws guarantee the right to form unions. It is the right to freedom of speech and freedom of association. Before employees start talking about unionizing, they should get in touch with a union to help them organize. Step two Is finding out which union is right for the situation. Learn about deferent types of unions before placing the right one. Step three Is to get in touch with a union organizer. Organizers assist employees in forming unions on the Job to give them the same opportunity for dignity and respect, good wages and decent working conditions that union members already have” (“How to,” 2010). Once a union is decided on, they can propose the idea of forming a union to the company. The company will usually request a vote. If more than 50% of the employees vote for a union, the union Is formed. (“Information Center,” 2009) Relations Act (ANAL), through which Congress, for the first time, gave Organized Labor statutory sanction to get workers fired for refusal to Join a union.
A “closed shop” is what unions and employers called it when employees in a unionized workplace were required to Join the union. In 1947 congress passed the Taft-Hartley Act. This outlawed the “closed shop,” but permitted something new called “union shop. ” A union shop is a union security clause under which the employer agrees to hire either abort union members or nonmembers but where all non-union employees must become union members within a specified period of time or lose their Jobs. Right-to- work states are open shop. Over the course of the decade, 12 states enacted Right to Work laws.
A right-to-work state gives employees the option of whether they want to join a union. “In 1947, Congress overrode President Trauma’s veto to enact revisions to the ANAL, known as the Taft-Hartley Act. Taft-Hartley did not change the Annals forced-unionism provisions, but one clause did formally recognize states’ prerogative to enact Right to Work laws. This Right to Work clause, Section 14(b), enraged Big Labor” (National Institute, 2010). One could endlessly debate unions and the potential benefits and drawbacks to the employees, employers, company and economy. That is not what I am here to do.
I want to make it clear that I am not arguing for or against unions, but against Right-to-Work laws. Right-to-work states are currently the biggest debated proposed solution to preventing union’s from having too much power, thus becoming inefficient. In all actuality, the current problem with right-to-work laws is that they do not allow a union to operate effectively primarily because of preferring. Preferring is when someone benefits from a union without paying dues or participating. Every union is required too duty of fair representation, a requirement to represent all employees fairly, in good faith, and without discrimination.
The duty applies to virtually every action that a union might take in dealing with an employer as the representative of employees. Because of this, in right-to-work states, union’s are required to represent all employees whether they are a part of the union or not. Is this fair? The main problem with right-to-work saws is that they do not allow a union to operate wholly simply because all employees are not required to be a part. If a union is operating with the support of only 50% of employees, they are working twice as hard to promote change and improvements with only half the power.
Right-to-work laws are portrayed as pro-choice, when in reality they are designed to weaken unions, plain and simple. Right-to-work states have a percentage growth in many areas, while at the same time, Right-to-work states have lower standard of living, less income on average, less benefits, higher poverty rate. Pro-Union activists will tell you these affects, while ignoring the free-riding problem. I am here to uncover the facts behind right-to-work laws. Right-to-work laws are inaccurately portrayed as pro-choice, rather than anti-union and there is undeniable evidence that people earn more in Non-Right-to-work state.
Over time, Unions have set working standards for both union and non-union workers. The impact of unions on total nonunion wages is in fact almost as close to the impact on total union wages. Even if one is not part of a union, someone working in a unionized industry is paid 5% more than similar workers in less unionized industries (Michel, 2010). A study by the Economic Policy Institute shows that workers work states. Right-to-work laws claim to give the option of whether you want to Join a union. However, unions cannot operate efficiently when this option is given, because it results in free riders.
A free rider is someone who enjoys the benefits off union without paying dues. Under U. S. Law, unions owe a “duty of fair representation” to all workers they represent, regardless of whether they pay dues. Duty of fair representation is defined as “the duty of a trade union to fairly represent employees n the bargaining unit with regard to their rights under the collective agreement” (“Guide Glossary,”2009). With the right-to-work laws, employees don’t have to Join a union to receive benefits. This results in less revenue for the union, thus weakening the union.
Right-to-work laws are portrayed as a right of choice, when in reality they are contributing to free riders, thus weakening union power. In a non-right-to-work state, “employees may be forced to pay union dues as a condition of employment, even if they reject union affiliation” Hour Right,” 2010). No employee n the United States can be legally required to be a formal union member. In a non- right-to-work state, employees can be forced to pay certain union dues, but never full union dues. People tend to exaggerate limited options in a unionized company.
Employees even have the legal right to petition against a union. Majority rules is what forms a union and a union can be abolished in the same way. From a more basic outlook: think off union as a soccer team. Imagine yourself as the coach. You tell your players, “congratulations on Joining the team, but guess what, you don’t have o participate if you don’t want to because this is right-to-work league. ” Right-to-work laws are essentially doing the same thing. Every argument for right-to-work can be responded with the fact that the purpose of a union is a collaborative effort.
There is no reason why unionized and non-unionized companies cannot compete side by side in a competitive market. Ultimately the purpose off union is to collaborate. If every single member of a company are in on something together, they form a union. The sole purpose off union is collective bargaining. Collective bargaining cannot occur when right-to-work laws are in place. So why do right-to-work laws portray themselves as pro-choice? Is it because they want to ignore the fact that they are taking power away from the unions? Ultimately, most right-to-work activists are anti- union.
One must remember that the unions of tomorrow are not the same as the unions of yesterday. Unions set national standards for workers rights, and it is a separate debate if unions themselves are still needed today. To conclude the argument against right-to-work laws, unions have set national standards for things such as working conditions, child labor, minimum wage, and benefits. Today, labor Onions continue to affect both unionized and non unionized workers in a positive way. Not only do unions improve workers’ benefits, they provide a democratic voice for people in the workplace.
Unions a. Right-to-work laws are designed to weaken unions, plain and simple. To counter the previous argument, right-to-work laws may or may not weaken unions. It is obvious that right-to-work laws will decrease union membership; however, if employees are given the option of Joining a union, the unions will be forced to work harder to meet the employee’s needs, thus strengthening the union. Free riding is an undeniable flaw to right-to-work laws. The only pro-right-to-work argument with regards to free-riding would be to say that security with an ultimate outcome of lazy workers.
In reality there is more free-riding in an unproductive union than there would be in a right-to-work state. The Bureau of Labor Statistics shows evidence in support of right-to-work states. In recent years employment growth and personal income growth have risen significantly more in right-to-work states opposed to forced-union states. From 2003-2008 alone, the average employment growth rose 9. 1% in right-to-work states opposed to 3. 6% in forced-union states (Region, 2009). This is partly to do with the fact that many Americans move in extraordinary numbers from forced union states to right-to-work states.
Population growth from April 2000 to July 2009 is twice as much in right-to- work states as compared to forced union states. Citizens are seeking employment, and right-to-work states is where they find it. The “freedom” standpoint is also a common argument for right-to-work. A democratic county should be pro-choice. Forced unionism simply does not agree with democratic principles. When employees are given in the option of Joining a union, it forces unions to work harder to meet the Meany’s needs as a whole, thus strengthening the union, and the company. Twenty two of the fifty states have adopted right-to-work laws.
Oklahoma is the most recent, passing a constitutional amendment in 2001 , but right-to-work becoming first effective in late 2003. Even Debra Lea, senior research analyst for the Oklahoma Department of Commerce admits, “we thought it would attract more Jobs, but it’s hard to measure,” (Is Right-To-Work). There are many other factors that can affect a new projects development. The ups and downs of the national and global economy, others business laws a specific state has adopted, among other factors. To conclude, right-to-work laws are designed to destroy unions.
In a right to work state employees are given the option of Joining a union, while nothing is done to prevent preferring. U. S. Law requires unions to give a duty of fair representation to all workers. It is arguable that citizens of a democratic country should not be forced to Join a union, but the fact of the matter is, they are not forced, they choose. When one chooses to work for a particular company, he or she chooses to be a part of that union if there is one. A company cannot have half union members and half non-union members, it will not function. Right-to-work laws are designed to destroy unions.
I must reinstate that the right-to-work controversy is not an anti-union/pro-union matter. I firmly believe that, in a non right-to-work state, unionized companies can operate alongside of non-union based companies in a competitive market. If employees are given the option of Joining a union, there might as well not be one. Finally, the only solution to the problem of preferring is for right-to-work states not to exist. Even with altered right-to-work laws, unions cannot operate when membership is optional. Imagine a soccer team where membership is optional.
How can we succeed as a team if participation is a choice? Imagine if half the team Just stands on the field and does nothing. It is not realistic, it will not work. It is the same for right- to-work states, it’s either all or nothing. Right-to-work laws are designed to weaken and destroy unions, plain and simple. I suggest that you and your fellow men and women in the workplace vote against right-to-work laws here in Michigan. Right-to- work laws do not exist in our state today, and shall never exist. Again, let me reinstate that this is not a pro-union, anti-union matter. Michigan is a place where did.
For one to think that he or she does not have a say in a union is utterly absurd. The beauty of this state is that it gives the employee the option of what kind of company he or she wants to work for. It is not an anti-choice matter. Employees have the choice of being part of a union, and most importantly, employees have a say. When it boils down to it, the reason for failed unions is not the idea of unionism itself, but rather membership activity. Simply, all union members need to be active involved and looks out for not only their personal interest, but the interest of the many.
If you as the common citizen vote against right-to-work laws and do these things, the Michigan economy will prosper. Republicans have begun a campaign to make Michigan a right-to-work state. Representatives Robert Selling and Leon Droplet have introduced a two bill legislative package. This bill has been referred to the Commerce Committee and would impact public employees and private sector workers, cutting workers pay and destroying unions. With the Legislature controlled by the Republicans, Governor Jennifer Granola is the only person preventing
Michigan from becoming a right-to-work for less state (Union Voice). If you visit unvoiced. Org you can help prevent this change from coming to Michigan. My closing perspective is simply: our states and nations economy is in dire need, but Right-to-work is not the answer. Destroying unions will not solve anything. Get involved with your union if you are in one, and stand up against right-to-work in Michigan. The ongoing debate will continue to persist, but I did try to inform the topic at hand; similarly as my uncle who has experienced this problem firsthand stressed the conflicts of this matter towards me.