Introduced by several state lawmakers, the “Open Workforce Initiative” is a collection of seven bills that would make Pennsylvania the latest state to succumb to similar legislation.
Right to Work laws, which have been implemented in 28 states, allow individuals working in certain industries to operate without having to pay union dues. Business aligned proponents of such laws claim that they decrease unemployment and benefit workers.
Despite the claim, a 2015 study by the Economic Policy Institute found that wages in Right to Work states were 3.1 percent lower than states without the legislation.
As the latest state to face down Right to Work, Pennsylvania is receiving support from labor experts all over the country.
“This ‘Open Workforce Initiative’ is just the latest attempt to sugarcoat damaging legislation with an appealing name,” says Richard Dalton, business manager for the International Union of Operating Engineers (IUOE) Local 18 in neighboring Ohio. “We’ve seen similar tactics before and no doubt we’ll see them again. It’s time for workers in Pennsylvania to fight back and make sure these bills fail.”
Right to Work opponents have long maintained that the initiative’s true purpose is to kill unions and worker protections, ultimately leading to a weaker middle class.
“Despite their misleading names, these initiatives continue to hurt average workers,” says Dalton. “That’s why it’s so important that voters reach out to their representatives and demand they fight against this controversial legislation.”
Whether they call it the “Open Workforce Initiative,” “Paycheck Protection” or Right to Work, opponents of the efforts remain dedicated to ensuring the voting public knows the truth about the GOP’s divisive agenda.
For more information on Right to Work in Ohio, visit: http://protectohiosmiddleclass.org.
SOURCE: Keep Ohio's Heritage
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