Delaware legislature strikes down county-by-county Right to Work efforts

Delaware House passes bill stalling the state’s anti-labor movement
(PR NewsChannel) / June 26, 2018 / DOVER, Del. 

Last week, Delaware legislators passed a pivotal bill stopping the state GOP’s Right to Work movement in its tracks.

Approved by a vote of 25-13 along party lines, the Delaware House voted to guarantee the right of private employers to enter into labor deals that require their employees to join a union. The bill effectively blocks the GOP effort to pass the controversial legislation on a county-by-county or town-by-town basis.

“The Governor strongly believes that one of the best ways to stand up for Delaware’s workers is to protect their right to organize, earn a good living and support their families,” said Jon Starkey, spokesman for Gov. John Carney.

Labor supporters agree, citing the number of states suffering under Right to Work as reason why legislators in Delaware made the right decision.

“Implementing Right to Work is attempting to put out a fire with gasoline,” said Richard Dalton, business manager for the International Union of Operating Engineers (IUOE) Local 18 in Ohio. “Business owners will prosper while workers remain unchanged, possibly even worse off than before.”

Studies conducted over the last decade have repeatedly shown Right to Work to have little impact on a state’s economy.

In 2011, the Economic Policy Institute (EPI) conducted a multi-part study. Their first major finding was that, on average, full-time workers in Right to Work states earned 3.1% less than those in unionized states. That same year, New Hampshire and Indiana’s legislature considered implementing a new law. Indiana passed Right to Work while New Hampshire didn’t receive enough support. Although New Hampshire’s economy was stronger from the start, Right to Work did nothing to close the performance gap with Indiana.

A study in 2017 expanded upon EPI’s research to find that Right to Work harms job growth and union performance as well.

States that allow for unions to conduct bargaining show 13.3% membership rates across unionized industries and 8% higher wages (showing an increase from EPI’s findings). Those who have implemented Right to Work, however, show 11.5% membership rates across unionized industries. Such a small change leads to a disappearance of unions in many industries, lower wages and overall slower business growth.

Right to Work refers to legislation that controls a labor union’s power. Under this law, workers can no longer be required to become members or, should they choose to join, pay dues.

Supporters of these laws believe the money employers save on bargaining leads to a stronger economy as companies invest in themselves and cheaper labor attracts more business. In reality, money stays at the top as unions close, wages sink, hours increase and workers are left to the mercy of corporate interest.

“The facts have never supported Right to Work and more and more people are starting to realize it,” said Dalton. “As long as voters keep pressing their legislators and continue to make their voices heard, we’ll keep beating this terrible legislation.”

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

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SOURCE:  Keep Ohio's Heritage

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