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There Are No Free-Rides, The Fight Against Right To Work (For Less)

The ‘Right To Work’ for less argument has been going on all across the country for many, many years.  The proponents say it will create jobs and give workers a choice.  These are great message points for them because they mean nothing and there is no basis in reality.

The fact is that, unions fought, worked, and died for the rights and privileges that many workers take for granted now.  The fact that we have weekends or vacations are just two of thedozens of examples (image here) of how unions fought for better working conditions for all.

Now unions are fighting back against anti-worker legislation and policies that are destroying the American (and Canadian) labor markets.  They are shipping good paying manufacturing jobs overseas and then blaming the workers for not having jobs.  They are creating policies that have one thing in mind, smash the unions!

This is the case with ‘right to work’ laws. This idea of a ‘right to work’ is inappropriately named.   It should be called the right to freeload.

Unions have always maintained that if you are covered by a collective bargaining agreement, and that you benefit from that agreement, that you should have to pay for the representation provided to you by the union.  In non-‘right to work’ states, unions are allowed to negotiated a clause in the contract to include an ‘agency fee’ or non-member fee for representation.  This fee is not used to better the union, it is only to cover the costs of drafting and maintaining the collective bargaining agreement.   In ‘right to work’ states unions are forbidden from incorporating this clause into an agreement, allowing non-members to benefit from the union without have to pay for it, aka freeload.

Right to work for less has been a national fight in the United States for many years, now the unions in Canada are starting to see it popping up in legislation in their country.  Many of the unions in Canada are part of U.S. Internationals like the UAW, IAFF or USW.    One of these unions took a moment to create a short video to explain that there are no ‘free rides’ when it comes to union representation.

The video is created by award winning Canadian director Bruce MacDonald and the Ontario Public Service Employee Union to send a message to the “Ontario PC leader Tim Hudak about that party’s plans for the province’s unions“.

Right to work is more that just a free ride for non-members.  It weakens the entire union process.  It weakens the unions collective bargaining rights, and that eventually hurts all workers.  Do you not see the correlation between the decline in union membership and the decline of workers wages?

If you want to see wages on the rise again, join a union.  If you want to see companies offering good healthcare options again, join a union.  If there is no union for your job, help to organize one, because there is always a union to fit your job.



About Matt Murray

Matt Murray is the creator and an author on the NH Labor News. He is a union member and advocate for labor and progressive politics. He also works with other unions and members to help spread our message. Follow him on Twitter @NHLabor_News
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