Are right-wing politics killing unions?

Right to Work and its supporters come under fire for legislation which hurts workers
(PR NewsChannel) / September 28, 2017 / COLUMBUS, Ohio 

According to a recent Vice editorial, the primary enemy of unions and labor movements isn’t the economy or unfair business practices, it’s right-wing politics. Its weapon of choice…Right to Work.

Employers have perfected the anti-union playbook in the United States in a way that they haven’t in many other places,” says Jake Rosenfeld, a sociologist at Washington University in St. Louis.

For years, Republican lobbyists and politicians have fought pro-labor legislation while pushing Right to Work into place. The belief is that unions cannot adapt to global business growth, and goods and services, which take on a higher cost due to the employees’ union status, can’t compete with the low-cost, seemingly more profitable options available elsewhere.

According to Vice, this couldn’t be further from the truth.

A recent report by the Economic Policy Institute showed that efforts to crush unions and pro-labor legislation has resulted in roughly one in every ten workers being union members. The study demonstrated a strong indication that if the number of represented workers were higher, there wouldn’t be such drastic issues with income inequality, business growth and more.

“This is news for some, but not for the workers who have spent decades being worn down by right-wing legislation,” says Richard Dalton, business manager for the International Union of Operating Engineers (IUOE) Local 18 which represents all of Ohio and several counties in Kentucky. “People are killing themselves just to pay bills. We need unions now more than ever.”

Right to Work has been a crippling force for unions throughout recent years, but a Republican sweep in 2016 has made it the top priority in many states.

A collection of laws which restrict unions from requiring membership and payment of dues, Right to Work would allow all employees, regardless of membership status, to be eligible for union benefits.

Studies have shown that money saved on union bargaining, meant for investing in workers, stays at the top of corporations. Additionally, workers are gradually payed less as hours become longer and workplace safety standards begin to decline. Business growth then slows to a crawl and weaker jobs fail to attract new workers.

Without proper funding, unions aren’t left with the necessary resources to challenge employers and demand better treatment of employees.

“It’s no longer an economy issue, there’s a specific party putting businesses above workers,” says Dalton. “Voters need to make their voices heard so they can begin reaping the benefits of union representation.”

For more information on Right to Work in Ohio, visit:

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SOURCE:  Keep Ohio's Heritage

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