Everybody needs to have the right to work and that’s simple, whats not simple is why nobody needs”Right to Work” laws. It all goes back to when FDR passed the National Industrial Recovery Act. This bill established “collective bargaining” and many other notable advancements for organized labor which directly empowered the American worker. One advancement being that if you wanted a job from an employer that was in cooperation with a labor union,
you either joined the union or paid union dues. Reguardless of wether you actually joined the union or just paid dues, you would receive the union’s vast benefits and representation. Sounds like a fair deal right? But this closed shop policy is exactly what got everybody upset. Well… this is what got the world of conservative politics upset. The conservative argument was that this would discourage people to work, because even if you didn’t want to be associated with the union involved with your employer (for reasons only conservative propaganda could explain), you would still have to pay the union via dues. Apparently FDR’s bill stripped American’s of their “right to work”. So then came the Taft-Hartley act, a product of a republican congress and anti-FDR sentiment. The Taft-Hartley act provided, amongst other pro-business legislation, that employers could now have “open shops” where employees could still enjoys the benefits of a union and not pay a penny. According to Senator Hartley, the main author of the bill, “[referring to the bill] It corrects in a single piece of legislation the outstanding mistakes of the New Deal”. Since Hartley wasn’t specific I’m not sure which mistakes he was referring to wether it be Social Security, welfare, or putting millions of Americans back to work. Either way the bill was passed and America is still feeling it’s presence.
Half of this country’s states now exhibit Right to Work laws. Anyone who thinks this isn’t a political issue, look at the states that are now right to work states when compared with states that voted republican in this years election. It really feels as if ever since FDR was in office, conservatives oppose closed shops just to oppose something liberal. Even worse, many have attributed the right to work conversation to a racial issue. Take for example what Vance Muse, an early pro-Right to Work oil tycoon had to say about closed shops, “From now on, white women and white men will be forced into organizations with black African apes whom they will have to call ‘brother’ or lose their jobs.”Just based on these facts people should probably question the legitimacy of Right to Work laws. But then we one considers what impact these laws have on states when compared to closed shop states, it should become crystal clear as to who is on the right side of this argument. “The Economic Effects of Adopting a Right-to-Work Law: Implications for Illinois.”, “RTW tends to have negative impacts on real hourly wages—RTW lowers African-American wages by between $0.19 and $2.39 per hour and by between 4.7 and 9.8 percent according to the four models”. If you get more from visuals here you go.
After reading of all of what I had to say about the truth behind Right to Work laws, I hope the truth behind whats is good for the rights of American workers becomes evident. A lot is at stake here. Below is an interview I did with a pro-right to work man named Willy. Let’s see what he has to say.