List of Pros and Cons of Right To Work
The Right to work law in the United States prohibits union security agreements, and agreements between employers and labor unions in order to prohibit a union to require employee’s membership, payment of dues, fees or any other form of payment as a condition for employment, either before or after hiring the employees.
Right now, the right to work law has been adhered to by 24 states out of the 50 states that compose the United States of America, making these 24 states right to work states. This means that almost half of the states have adhered to this law, and over half of them did not. The last state to adopt RIGHT TO WORK was Indiana and the territory of Guam.
States are consistently competing for talented employees, for investments and for jobs, but we need to ask ourselves what are the pros and cons of these right to work laws There is a large debate concerning whether or not these laws are beneficial for the states that adopt them or not. So, without further ado, let’s get into the advantages and disadvantages of these laws:
Pros of Right To Work
A Fundamental Right
People who are in favor of the right to work laws believe that the right to work is a fundamental right in the Constitution. We have the right to choose to associate or not to associate with any type of union that we desire, and can choose to be represented by a union or to not be. We have the right to decide where our money goes, and who takes a cut out of our hard earned paychecks; this is of course, with the exception of taxes that are mandatory. Without the right to work laws, people were being forced to join union or to pay these unions their “fair share” of dues. This is a violation of their rights, and should not occur.
The End of the Union Business
What is happening right now is that unions aren’t really, well, unions. They are acting based on business models, and the goal of any decent business is clear, to have a profit. Unions are offering their services in change for substantial fees, and employees are purchasing these services in order to get the union to handle the negotiation that the employee has with the employer. If it happens that the employees are happy with their service and the value that the union brought them, they will be repeating customers. If, however, the union wastes the money the employee pays them with costs the employee does not agree with, he can simply fire the union.
Right to work laws lead to higher competitiveness when it comes to bidding and wages. According to a study conducted by the Center of the American Experiment with economist Dr. Richard Vedde, Minnesota could have ranked in the top 10 states with the highest income per capita thanks to right to work laws. Since they did not adopt these laws, the ranked 14th. This difference might look small, but it would mean a way better quality of life for everyone involved.
The Decline of Unions
Union membership in states that adopted right to work laws is decreasing it is expect that this decrease will not cease for quite some time. States that did not adopt these laws are helping systems based on unions that are no longer relevant and no longer required. This support for the unions is simply taking a toll on the economy of these states. Furthermore, the personal income growth rates of states that adopted right to work laws have been growing significantly more than the personal income growth rate of states that did not adopt these right to work laws.
Right to work states have a higher percentage of workers employed than the other states. This is also based on the study conducted with Dr. Richard Vedder. According to the study, the average right to work state had an employment per population ratio 1.4 percent higher than the other states. This might not be a significant amount to the naked eye, but for the lives of everyone involved in the process, it certainly is incredible significant.
The End of the Union Monopoly
In states where unions are supported, unions have the power to monopolize some sectors of specific unions, allowing unions to do whatever they want with their monopoly on certain industry sectors. Furthermore, the power of a monopoly certain makes an incentive for corruption, since the relationships between political leaders and unions are highly important for the future of the nation, this should be avoided at all costs. These relations are only able to operate in abusive manners in states where right to work laws are not present.
Preventing Union Bullying
When unions have monopolies, they are able to bargain across the industry they hold a monopoly in to get better wages and better benefits. Sometimes, when this happens, businesses lose their economic advantages and threaten unions with the use of workers not related to any union. These nonunion workers have the ability to negotiate freely with their employers in a right to work state, but aren’t so free in states without these laws. Right to work laws prevent unions from bullying nonunion workers in order to maintain their monopolies over specific types of industries.
Cons of Right To Work
On average, states without right to work laws have people earning $5500/ year more than the people of states with these laws. The increase in wages can benefit both employees and employers. It benefits employees since it allows employees to plan their life events with confidence. On top of that, it also allows them to have an overall better quality of life. As for employers, they can get better quality of work and employees with higher commitment since they feel financially secure when working for these employers, which also leads to loyalty and an overall better work environment. Right to work laws allow employers to hire nonunion workers, meaning that a lot of the collective agreements done by unions might not be there, leading to lower wages and lower benefits.
Lack of Safety for Employees
Right to work laws allow employers to hire employees without agreements where the employee would be protected. This “at-will” hiring process gives employers the ability to terminate their relationship with the employee for no reason and without just cause. The end of these relations between employees and employers can come due to a lot of factors, including for example, an employer not liking the way an employee sneezes or other ridiculous reasons. Employees in these states with right to work laws are fragile against employers and do not benefit from the safety and stability that unions can provide them with. In states where unions step up and take charge of the negotiations with employers, the collective agreements usually protect the employees through protocols that force employers to take determined steps to correct the behavior of an employee before terminating the relationship with him.
Less Union Power
States that cooperate with unions force employers to negotiate the right and the wages of employees with the unions, protecting them against a lot of possible future problems. These unions also improve a lot of work-related conditions such as safety, wages, overall working conditions, and so on. In states where right to work laws are accepted, employers do not have to go through unions to hire their workers, and as such, unions lose their power to protect employees and to improve their work conditions. As such, employers take advantage of this and end up giving employees poor conditions as they only need to meet the minimum legal requirements, and unions do not have the power to increase these conditions beyond legal minimums. This is something that has the possibility to have deadly results, since right to work states can end up having higher employment related fatalities due to poor conditions.