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Right to work state are growing faster?

People are moving to Right to Work States and leaving states without. Employers are doing the same thing. People want the right to decide for themselves whether or not they join a union (not have it jammed down their throats).

BTW only about 6% of private sector jobs are unionized. Why? Because the vast majority of folks would rather not pay union dues which can easily exceed 10% of their income for nothing. The laws of supply and demand keep wages higher than unions...& generally work well.

The elephant in the room is China. Over the past 13 years, they've pumped over 250 million service and manufacturing workers into the global supply chain compared to only 60 million for the US and EU combined. This ramping supply of workers has helped keep global wages depressed.

The good news for workers? China's wage rates during this time have gone up over 8X and the nation's demographic crisis means China will NOT be adding new workers. Expect wages to continue to rise in this country. It's inevitable.

‘Worker’s Choice’ Is the Way Forward

Employees who opt out of unions should be free to negotiate their own contracts.

By Eric Burlison and F. Vincent Vernuccio

Dec. 12, 2023 5:55 pm ET


Gift unlocked article


(4 min)


Union members and supporters chant in Michigan’s capitol as they wait for legislators to vote on an anti-right-to-work law in Lansing, March 14. PHOTO: TODD MCINTURF/ASSOCIATED PRESS

Americans are better off in states with right-to-work laws, which let workers take a job without having to join a union or pay its fees. More than half of U.S. states have such protections on the books. This spring, however, Michigan Democrats scrapped their state’s right-to-work statute. The repeal will formally go into effect in February. Missouri voters overturned their state’s right-to-work law in a 2018 referendum, a year after the Legislature enacted it.

Labor unions pushed for these reversals, arguing that right-to-work laws let private-sector employees free-ride off union contracts without paying fees. In reality, workers are forced riders, required to accept unwanted union representation and contracts that may not reflect their individual needs.

Employees trapped in union contracts need true freedom in the workplace, or what advocates have long called “worker’s choice.” That’s why on Wednesday, Rep. Burlison will introduce The Worker’s Choice Act of 2023. It would give workers a real alternative to union membership.

Under this reform, employees at unionized companies could still become union members with union contracts. But if they opt out of union membership, they would negotiate contracts directly with their employers, as workers at nonunion companies do. The legislation wouldn’t affect non-right-to-work states, where workers are still required to pay union fees. It also wouldn’t apply to railroad and airline employees, who are required by federal law to pay union fees, or to government employees, who would qualify for worker’s choice only via state law.

Every worker would win under this policy. Those opting out of union membership could negotiate the contract that’s best for them. Union restrictions on work hours wouldn’t apply to them, allowing them to seek more-flexible schedules, essential for those who care for children or elderly family members. Such employees could also avoid union seniority rules, permitting them to negotiate their salaries and bonuses based on their individual contributions. The worker’s-choice model would also be a boon to employers, who could better attract and retain talent.

Different workers could agree with the same employer to different contracts. Some might be more generous than union-negotiated agreements, while others might be less so, at least in union leaders’ eyes. Yet individual workers know what they value. Some might negotiate different pay for different benefits or more flexibility. More than 93% of private-sector workers already have the freedom to negotiate their own contracts. Worker’s choice would further enhance their ability to do so.

Unions would also gain from the worker’s-choice framework by no longer needing to expend resources on nonmembers. Those in their ranks would benefit because union leaders would have more incentive to provide better representation lest workers leave to negotiate their own contracts. A 2017 survey by a Carnegie Mellon University researcher found that 77% of union members support giving nonmembers the freedom to negotiate their own contracts.

Workers deserve the freedom to say “No, thank you” to unwanted representation and contracts. As unions urge the repeal of right-to-work protections, this reform is more important than ever.

Mr. Burlison represents Missouri’s Seventh Congressional District. Mr. Vernuccio is president of the Institute for the American Worker.

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