In a recent study from the Illinois Economic Policy Institute, researchers believe that in addition to draining union memberships, wages and job growth are also at a much slower rate than states without Right to Work laws.
Validating what labor experts have long maintained, the study lends support to the argument Right to Work is wrong for workers.
“It’s additional support for what we already know,” said Richard Dalton, business manager for the International Union of Operating Engineers (IUOE) Local 18 in Ohio. “Politicians don’t have employee welfare in mind when drafting these deceptive laws. Now we have the numbers to back up our argument.”
The study shows union membership in collective bargaining states like Illinois at around 13.3%, while Wisconsin, a state with Right to Work legislation, has an average membership of 11.5%. On average, Right to Work states have a 2.1% lower unionization rate than their collective bargaining counterparts. More importantly, this is accompanied by an average of 8% lower wages in Right to Work states.
Right to Work laws have been a hot button issue in recent years as politicians put pressure on both sides of the argument. The laws allow employees to choose whether they will become union members and, depending on the decision, whether they will pay dues. Proponents of the measures argue freedom within union-heavy industries will see unrestricted growth.
Critics, however, view it much differently. Right to Work laws allow employees to reap the benefits of unionization without paying to support them. Unions become at risk of collapse, leaving room for employers to take advantage of employees.
Previous studies have shown Right to Work is nothing like the name implies. Results from across the country consistently show two to four percent drops in earnings which, in some cases, benefits the employer the most. Businesses save money when unions are removed from the equation and have no interest in letting the wealth trickle down. Proponents see this as the necessary evil of protecting employees from unwanted union representation, but the reality is it’s legislation meant to further burden the working person.
“It’s impossible to fight research,” says Dalton. “With numbers on our side, hopefully we’ll continue to stay ahead of this damaging legislation.”
For more information on Right to Work in Ohio, visit: http://protectohiosmiddleclass.org
SOURCE: Keep Ohio's Heritage
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