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Right to Work for Less

What is a "right to work" law?

Despite its misleading name, this type of law does not guarantee anyone a job and it does not protect against unfair firing. By undermining unions, so-called "Right to Work" laws would weaken the best job security protections workers have—the union contract.

A "right to work" law is a state law that prohibits employers and employees from agreeing that all workers share the costs of collective bargaining and representation.

This agreement is called a "union security clause." At the same time, unions are required by law to equally represent every eligible employee, whether or not he or she pays dues. In other words, "Right to Work" laws allow workers to pay nothing and still get all the benefits of union membership.

"Right to Work" laws aren't fair to dues-paying members. If a worker who is represented by a union and doesn't pay dues is fired illegally, the union must use its time and money to defend him or her, even if that requires going through a costly, time-consuming legal process. Since the union represents everyone, everyone benefits, so everyone should share in the costs of providing these services. Amazingly, nonmembers who are represented by a union can even sue the union is they think it has not represented them well enough!

"Right to Work" for Less laws hurt workers in our state

Workers in states with so-called Right-to-Work (RTW) laws have a consistently lower quality of life than in other states—lower wages, higher poverty, less access to health care, poorer education for children-- according to data from the U.S. Department of Labor and the U.S. Census Bureau.

  • Working Families in States with "Right to Work" for less Laws Earn Lower Wages.
    On average, workers in states with "Right to Work" law earn $5,538 a year less than workers in states without these laws.
  • "Right to Work" for less States Spend Less on Education
    Right-to-Work states spend $2,671 less per pupil on elementary and secondary education than free-bargaining states.
  • "Right to Work" for less States Have Higher Workplace Fatality Rates
    According to data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the rate of workplace deaths is 52.9% higher in states with Right-to-Work laws.