Pitchfork Economics, Opinion

Why right-to-work legislation is actually terrible for workers

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9/25/2021 3:33:00 PM

'Right-to-work' legislation may sound nice, but it's actually terrible for workers and has a deeply racist history (by paulconstant)

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," Shane Larson, the legislative and political director of Communications Workers of America, argues that RTW laws should be called"right-to-work-for-less" or"right-to-mooch" laws.Larson says RTW"was concocted by a bunch of Southern segregationist white supremacists as an effort to try to stop unions" in the 1930s and 1940s as"a way to keep workplaces from being integrated." The policy push"was bankrolled by corporations to really whip up this racist hysteria into campaigns to pass these 'right-to-work' laws in states all throughout the south." 

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(And if you think Larson's language is inflammatory, you should know that the leading advocate for RTW laws in response to President Franklin Roosevelt's New Deal, a Texan corporate lobbyist named Vance Muse, wasas"a white supremacist, an anti-Semite, and a Communist-baiter, a man who beat on labor unions not on behalf of working people, as he said, but because he was paid to do so.")

Workers in RTW states earn lessIn the years since the Civil Rights movement, corporations have scrubbed the overt white supremacy from their RTW campaigns, but they've continued to advocate for the law with all their estimable power. "If you are a worker in a 'right-to-work' state," Larson explained,"not only do you make about $1,600 less a year than [workers in non-RTW states], you have less employer-provided health insurance, and significantly lower retirement plans or pension plans. It's a pure, clear benefit for corporations" at the expense of workers, he said. headtopics.com

The House of Representatives passed a bill this springthat could change all that. The Protecting the Right to Organize Act, or PRO Act, strengthens the rights of American workers to unionize without employer interference and reverses RTW legislation that defunds unions. The bill is now gridlocked in the Senate, so passage would either require the unlikely support of 10 Republican Senators, or filibuster reform allowing the Democratic majority to pass the bill without Republican support. 

The PRO Act iswildly popular,with nearly 60% of likely voters, including an impressive 40% of Republicans, supporting the bill. This is the kind of broadly popular economic legislation that Democrats need to pass if they want to hold on to Congress in the 2022 elections. It puts money in workers' pockets, it improves peoples' lives — and it's got a pretty good name, too.

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paulconstant The data in the article does not paint the whole picture. I’d be willing to be the 12 states without RTW have a much higher cost of living so that 1.6k a year really isn’t much. If I want to opt out of my union I should be able. I don’t care what they negotiate it’s not any good. paulconstant There is a great and viable opportunity and you’d be interested to see a way to tie up your lose ends which wrong crypto investing has created in the society. Quickly reach out to coachbradleyM to learn how to earn passive income without stress

paulconstant It has made Colorado a labor pimps state and kept wages low for decades! paulconstant They don’t really care about us. Won’t get out of the senate, won’t be in the news, and would never fly in Texas. The corporatists have won.

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