What Does the Term "Right to Work" Mean?
It is a term lawmakers and business owners use. Right to work laws make it illegal to take away jobs from employees who refuse to join a labor union. It outlaws so-called "closed shops," which require workers to join a union or pay a fee similar to union dues.
Why Do Supporters Back Right to Work Laws?
Those who favor right to work laws say they are not anti-union because they say the laws do not take away a worker's right to join a union, start one, or even go on strike. They say such laws defend an employee's freedom of choice. Supporters also say states with right to work laws attract more new businesses and jobs. But some economists dispute that.
Why So Some People Oppose Right to Work Laws?
Opponents argue that such laws strengthen management at the expense of unions who fight for better working conditions and fair wages. Opponents to right to work laws say such regulations are aimed at weakening unions and could lead to arbitrary pay cuts, firings, and fewer benefits. They also say such laws allow workers to enjoy the same benefits as unionized workers without having to pay union dues.