So-called “right-to-work” laws, while sounding like a grassroots campaign to help employees, are actually not worker-friendly. These laws don’t actually protect anybody’s right to work—they’re merely bans that prohibit labor unions from forging agreements with employers mandating that everyone working for that employer must be a union member.
Critics of “right-to-work” laws point out that they weaken unions and lead to decreased wages. In fact, a 2011 study of RTW states and non-RTW states showed that the biggest difference between workers in the two categories was that average and median wages were significantly higher in non-RTW states (by as much as 16 percent).
Now, Elizabeth Warren is attempting to repeal these “right-to-work” laws by introducing a bill called the Protecting Workers and Improving Labor Standards Act. Other senators and congressmen have joined her:
Congressman Brad Sherman, in a post on his website, declared his involvement in the bill, and added further that RTW “encourages a race to the bottom, as states compete to attract employers by offering weak labor laws and, as a result, lower wages.” Sherman affirms his commitment to stronger unions, ones that don’t have to support “free riders” who receive the benefits of the union but don’t pay any dues.
Read the text of Warren’s bill here.