‘RIGHT TO WORK IS WRONG’ FOR WORKING PEOPLE
H.R. 785 was introduced in early February by Representatives Joe Wilson (South Carolina) and Steve King (Iowa) that would essentially devastate and destroy workers’ rights and their representation. This destructive anti-worker legislation, which sounds good and is called National “Right-to-Work” Legislation is in fact the worst thing that could happen to Organized Labor. Pushed by the American Legislative Exchange Council, greedy corporations, and wealthy Billionaires like the Koch Brothers, this bill is yet again seeking to take away worker’s bargaining power and voice by gutting the very organizations fighting for worker’s rights: Unions. “Right-to-Work for less” legislation is an attempt by wealthy CEOs and corporations to forward their own agenda and wealth at the expense of working people.
There is no doubt that Unions are beneficial to working men and women nationwide. Unions protect workers and collectively bargain to raise wages, working conditions, fight for safety in the workplace and provide good health and retirement benefits. Even workers that are not part of a Union benefit from the workers’ rights that Unions have helped create such as: 8 hour work days, a 40 hour work week, weekend and paid vacation, social security, sick leave, laws against sexual harassment, health benefits and more.
Proponents of this legislation claim that it prevents workers from being forced to join a union, but this is already the case. “Right-to-Work for less” legislation is really meant to defund Unions who support pro-worker candidates and legislation in favor of corporate interests.
Many states that have already gone “Right-to-Work” have seen serious consequences such as:
- Higher poverty rates
- Fewer Workers have health insurance
- Workers pay more out of pocket insurance costs
- Higher infant mortality rates
- Less investment in education
- Higher workplace fatalities
- Lower wages & more.
The truth is, Unions are more relevant today than ever before. Unions need more bargaining power, not less, to adequately protect and fight for worker’s rights. I am writing to encourage our Membership to take a stand against anti-worker legislation like National “Right-to-Work for less’’. Should a National “Right-to-Work for less” law pass, our Local would stand victim to the consequences. Fewer dues paying Members would weaken our ability to lobby for pro worker legislation and reduce the services we provide to our Sisters & Brothers in the Entertainment Industry. Our Local has worked hard over the years to fight for better wages and benefits for our Members. We must not let National ‘Right to Work’ combat against our progress. In a Union, we rely on one another to stand in solidarity and fight against attacks on workers. Whether we are striking a show in our industry, or joining our Sisters and Brothers at the Ports in Long Beach, we are in this together and we must work together to fight back.
We will be building more resources to help educate and mobilize our Members in the coming weeks. For now, there are a few simple things you can do to stand up and fight back against National “Right-to-Work for less”:
- Watch & Share the video below by former Secretary of Labor Robert Reich to help explain what ‘Right to Work’ means for working people and their families:
We are working people, standing together and we will not let corporate greed continue to weaken the power and voice of working people. Help us spread the message that ‘Right-to-Work for less’ is wrong for workers.
More Articles & Resources for fighting against ‘Right to Work’ for Less Legislation:
- Article: Rep. Steve King and the Racist Origins of So-called Right to Work
- Article: Deceptive ‘Right to Work’ Laws Hurt Everyone (AFL-CIO)
- Article: Teamsters Strongly Oppose National ‘Right to Work’ Legislation (Teamsters)
- Article: House GOP Renews ‘War on Workers’ with ‘ Right to Work’ Bill (Huffington Post)
- Article: New National ‘Right to Work’ Bill Threatens Hollywood Unions (The Hollywood Reporter)
- Video: Reality vs ‘ Right to Work’ (Teamsters Local 1932)
- Video: Unions are Working People Standing Together (CA Labor Federation)
- Article: Teamsters Fight Back Against Right To Work
- Article: 21 States Saw Union Membership Rise in 2016. Was Yours One of Them?
- Article: U.S. Court of Appeals Preserves Fair Share Fees, Dismisses Right-to-Work Case