Right to work. Freedom to choose in the workplace.
Really? Do we need the government to tell us we have the right to work? What’s next, the right to breathe oxygen?
This So-Called Right to Work (SCRTW) is an attempt to restrict union workers’ rights. This was the subject of a very-well organized two-day Communication Workers of America seminar that Grace Catania and Don Villar, co chairs of Legislative Political Action Team for Illinois CWA and Beth Kramer attended.
SCRTW is a state law that restricts a union’s collective bargaining rights. Right to Work legislation was passed in 24 states, including Wisconsin, Iowa, Indiana and Michigan. This is corporate-backed legislation that affects industry and public unions. Illinois is surrounded by SCRTW states and it’s just a matter of time until SCRTW legislation is peddled in Illinois. Labor organizations are branding it as So-Called Right to Work legislation because it only guarantees the right to work for less.
Both union and non-union employees bring home an average of $550 less per month in states with SCRTW legislation compared to workers in states without SCRTW legislation. When a union’s ability to bargain for fair wages is taken away, fair and competitive wages disappear, according to seminar presenters.
Workplace fatalities are up 36 percent in states with SCRTW legislation. When unions lose their voice in the workplace, weaker safety protocols are in place, according to seminar presenters.