Right-to-Work Laws Necessary for Worker Freedom

Thirty-three fire fighters are being laid off in Reno, Nevada, after the city lost a federal grant. One of Reno’s councilmen, Dwight Dortch, charges that unions are making the situation worse.

Dortch says that Reno Fire Fighters Association, I.A.F.F, Local 731, should be making concessions to save jobs after the loss of funding. Instead, they are selfishly asking for more raises.

Unfortunately, this is quite unsurprising: public sector (and private sector) unions are notorious for pushing for ever-increasing wages and benefits for their members, even if such benefits threaten to break a state’s budget.

Even more unfortunate, this never-ending demand for more benefits ends up hurting taxpayers, since a stretched state budget can simply be increased through higher taxes. This means that, although collective bargaining costs can hurt a state budget, the final bill can be perpetually deferred to a state’s taxpayers.

In the private sector, costs related to collective bargaining cannot be deferred and they can destroy the businesses which sustain them.

Measures such as right-to-work and paycheck protection laws can limit collective bargaining costs in ways that are completely non-combative toward unions. A right-to-work law simply gives employees the freedom to choose whether or not they want to be in a union.

Unions charge that right-to-work is anti-union but that accusation gives credence to those who argue that unions cannot survive without coercion, since right-to-work laws contain no inherently anti-union provision.

Unions level the same baseless charges against paycheck protection laws because they give workers the choice to allow union deductions from their paychecks. Michelle Malkin appropriately takes Big Labor to task for opposing such a neutral kind of law.

Right-to-work and paycheck protection laws are important because paying a union a fee known as an “agency fee” is a condition of employment in many states. It is unbelievable that, in the U.S., payment to a private entity that is not one’s place of employment is in fact necessary for employment. But this is the tragic reality.

Aside from granting workers the freedom and mobility needed in today’s highly fluid workforce, right-to-work and paycheck protection laws can keep unions from gaining more disinterested members who they would demand increased benefits for, effectively limiting the employer-borne costs from higher wages and benefits.

In fact, the Mackinac Center reports that states which have right-to-work laws have significant economic growthLeftist union allies have tried to refute this evidence before, using gross intellectual dishonesty. Thankfully they have been outgunned by the Mackinac Center’s superior research.

Missouri could very well become the 25th state to adopt a right-to-work law, despite the fact that a close battle temporarily closed the door for the legislation in April. Vincent Vernuccio tells us that proponents of the law remain optimistic because the legislation got further in the Missouri House than it ever has before.

Aside from the reasons listed above, Missouri workers desperately need right-to-work and paycheck protection laws because they shouldn’t have to involuntarily associate with or fund the more disreputable unions like Laborers Union Local 110, which placed a giant inflatable rat in front of a funeral home that chose not to contract with them.