On Labor Day 2022, we should celebrate hard-working Americans who improve our lives every day.
As a resident of the Lone Star State, you can celebrate the fact that you live in one of the 27 right-to-work states across the country that are now home to the majority of working Americans. This means workers in Texas – and most workers in America – can now freely choose whether to join or financially support a union.
When asked in polls, about 8 in 10 Americans consistently say they think all workers should have this freedom. Fortunately, the 2018 Janus v. AFSCME The Supreme Court’s decision, argued and won by staff attorneys for the National Right to Work Foundation, now ensures that every public sector employee across the country has the right to work protections under the First Amendment.
Yet even amidst all this progress, in 23 states union bosses still have the legal power to force every worker into a private sector workplace – even those who don’t want the union and have never asked for its so-called “representation” – to finance the activities of the union boss or be fired.
People also read…
Wielding these powers, union officials force workers to pay billions of dollars each year or risk being fired.
Meanwhile, in right-to-work states, every worker has the freedom to decide for themselves whether to join or fund a union, but the benefits of right-to-work don’t stop there.
According to Labor Department statistics, from April 2011 to April 2021, salaried jobs in manufacturing jumped 9.3% in right-to-work states, compared to a 0.5% decline for salaried jobs. in the manufacturing sector in states with forced unionism.
This is just another example of Right to Work’s proven track record of job creation. Between 2011 and 2021, right-to-work states saw the total number of people employed increase by 13.2%. That’s more than double the 5.7% gain in non-right-to-work states during the same period, according to an analysis of federal government statistics compiled by the National Institute for Labor Relations Research ( NILRR).
The NILRR analysis also found that after adjusting for the cost of living, the average after-tax household income in right-to-work states was about $4,300 higher than that of households in union states. forced into 2019, the most recent year for which household income data is available.
The link between right-to-work laws and better economic performance comes as no surprise. Business experts consistently rank the presence of right-to-work laws as one of the most important factors companies consider when deciding where to expand or relocate their factories and facilities, where they will create new jobs and new opportunities.
However, the right to work is fundamentally a moral case – the economic benefits are just the icing on the cake. No worker should be forced to join or pay money to an organization they have no interest in supporting.
Right to work laws do nothing to prevent employees from voluntarily joining or paying union dues; they simply ensure that no worker can be forced to hand over part of their hard-earned wages to union officials just to keep a job.
Union bosses must also adapt and become more receptive to workers within the framework of the right to work. If union officials cannot rely on the law to force workers to subsidize them, union officials must work harder to retain employee support. Indeed, workers may withhold dues from inefficient, corrupt union hierarchies or prioritize divisive politics over workers’ needs.
If you are still unsure of your position on the question of the right to work, ask yourself a simple question: why should union officials not respect the same rules as all other private organisations?
A union that truly enjoys broad employee support should have no difficulty in relying on the voluntary financial support of its members. Meanwhile, a union that has alienated the base or lost its usefulness should not endure simply because it has legally gained the power to threaten to fire workers for nonpayment.
Churches, civic associations and thousands of other private organizations across the country succeed through voluntary association. Despite protests from union officials, there is no reason why a union – made up of individual workers who freely choose to join together – cannot do the same.
So this Labor Day, there’s more to celebrate than just a three-day weekend: Texas workers are among the majority of American employees who enjoy right-to-work protections, and their freedom deserves to be encouraged.
Mark Mix is Chairman of the National Right to Work Committee.