MICHIGAN, May 2, 2012 - On April 30th, President Obama spoke at the Building and Construction Trades Department Legislative Conference.
In his speech, he expressed that “Right to Work Laws are intended to bar unions from requiring prospective employees to join as a precondition for being hired”. President Obama also alleged that “Right to Work means the right to work for less and less”.
Finally, the President falsely claims that “Right to Work advocates want to end the collective-bargaining rights.”
“Right-to-Work” laws merely seek to prevent “union security” agreements — or contract provisions between union officials and employers making membership or payment of union dues or fees a mandatory condition of employment.
In effect, Right to Work Laws seek to provide every American worker a choice. If a worker wants to join a union, he or she ought to have that right. If a worker does not want to join a union, that worker should not be forced against his or her will to do so. Moreover, that worker should not face any form of discrimination as a result of deciding not to join a union.
For clarity of perspective, a union security agreement is an “exception” to the National Labor Relations Act’s prohibition against discrimination based on union membership or support. However, the 1947 Taft-Hartley Amendments to the Act added subsection 14(b), allowing states to pass “Right to Work” laws to counter discrimination against workers’ freedom to choose.
Currently, there are twenty-three States that have passed Right to Wok Laws. Per the National Right to Work Legal Defense Foundation, employees who work in the railway or airline industries are not protected by a State Right to Work law. Additionally, employees who work on a federal enclave may not be.
State Representative Mike Shirkey (R-Jackson, Michigan), responds to the President’s speech: “President Obama made a number of promises during his campaign. The only one he has kept has been his unwavering support for big union bosses, even at the expense of future generations’, due to his uncontrolled deficit spending. I guess we know where his top priorities are.”
The fact is that Right to work helps freedom and workers. 2010 Study by The National Institute Labor Relations Institute concluded that Right to Work States benefit from faster personal income growth and higher real purchasing power.
In 2011, The Heritage Foundation published a study which concluded that Right-to-Work states have lower unemployment rates (9.2 percent) than states without right-to-work laws (9.9 percent). Even more compelling, Right to Work States save workers—and cost union officials—a lot of money.
For example, losing 15 percent of their dues-paying members would cost private-sector New Hampshire unions $1.9 million a year. Heritage also found that private-sector workers in Indiana would save $18.4 million, with the passing of a Right to Work Law. It is appears that Right to Work Laws, therefore, allow workers to make “more and more”.
Terry Bowman, President of Union Conservatives, also weighed in on the President’s speech: “President Barack Obama tried to mend some broken fences with labor officials, but his remarks fell far short of what is needed if union workers are going to support the flailing president. Union officials are committed to getting the current president elected and continue to spend the hard-earned dues of union workers on offensive political activity.”
Bowman continued: “Union workers are divided in their support for having their union dues - much of which is seized by union bosses in forced unionism states - used to support mob-like political activity like the occupy movement, and the new 99% spring. The fake 99% spring should be renamed the 5% spring because that is more reflective of the percentage of Americans who agree with their offensive Socialist message. Why should the 40% of union members who do not agree with the political activity of their union officials be forced to fund this activity?”
A 2010 Study by Americans for Tax Reform compared states gaining and losing Congressional seats in the decennial reapportionment process and found that states gaining seats had significantly lower taxes, less government spending, and were more likely to have “Right to Work” laws in place. The implication is Right to Work Laws “spur economic growth and attract population growth”.
In the final analysis, Right to Work States create more jobs, lose fewer jobs, gain more new residents, have fewer people on welfare, and provide more personal income growth than non-Right to Work States.Additionally, Right to Work Laws are also decidedly beneficial to middle class and union workers in both the private and public sector.
President Obama should reverse his stance against Right to Work Laws.
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