The origin of the labor union concept was to enable “collective bargaining.” This allowed a group of employees to negotiate with their employer over wages, benefits, etc… It kept employers from doing things which would harm the lives or livelihood of its employees by protecting a right to stop working when an agreement between the parties couldn’t be made.
Now to get a job with an employer in a NON “right to work” state, if the employees are unionized, you MUST join the union. You must join, and you must pay dues. Here’s the kicker. These unions collect enough dues, and they build power… Not so much power for the employees, that’s a given – but even greater power for the unions. The unions can take those dues – and do things like purchase advertising time for a political candidate… or make donations to a political party.
It doesn’t matter what your personal political affiliation is, your money goes to the union, and the union leaders spend it how they see fit on whomever they decide to support – which in modern times generally leans towards the Democratic party. You may not see that as a problem, but when you factor in union support for the Obama campaign in 2008 – and the so called stimulus funds which were used to secure union jobs across the fruited plain… even the most useful idiot should be able to see the pattern.
The other day in Michigan – you may have missed this if you don’t listen to alternate media or Fox News (or Faux News to so called free thinkers aka useful idiots) – a Fox News reporter made the mistake of asking one of the protestors why they are against “right to work.” It started with a valid opinion that the people who choose not to join the labor union under the new law would be reaping the benefits obtained by years if not decades of union negotiations. Then he proceeded to violently attack the reporter. It was largely ignored or downplayed by the mainstream media… too bad they weren’t carrying Tea Party signs.
I personally agree with the concept of right to work. Basically, it gives you the option – the freedom – to decide whether or not you want to join the labor union. Neither the union or the employer can force you to join. I also understand the criticisms of its opponents, that the rights and benefits enjoyed by an employee were built on the backs of union workers. All that being said though, when unions become too big and too powerful – to the point that they receive millions upon millions of tax dollars to support its members while the rest of us are forced to suffer? To use a Liberal phrase… “It’s time to level the playing field.”
The law reinforces freedom of association, it provides hard working Americans with more options, and the fine print is a bulwark to the flood of cash from unions to politicians that elevates their members by stepping on the rest of us. Imagine if the stimulus money was actually spent to try and spur economic growth instead of simply prop up unions and campaign supporters so they could endure the economic downturn? The possibilities are endless.
If you want to join the union, you can. I don’t believe that this could hurt an honest labor union – it however will hurt the unions that wield their power in a way that puts the union’s needs above those of the workers which they represent to the detriment of the long term sustainability of the business as well as the country we call home.