New IAM Video: The Truth About Right-to-Work Laws
Thu. February 19, 2015
“It’s a tactic to destroy unions,” says IAM General Counsel Mark Schneider. “Philosophically, it’s so contrary to everything we stand for in our country because it’s not democracy.”
Right-to-work laws, which have been passed by 24 states, allow Big Business to weaken the power of collective bargaining by creating a dues-dollar dilemma for unions.
“Everybody doesn’t have to pay their fair share,” explains Schneider. “You only have to pay if you want to. This creates a free rider problem obviously because people who pay get the same value as people who don’t pay. Some people get a free ride.”
In short, it’s like going to a church potluck or picnic, he says. “There’s always somebody who doesn’t bring a dish. But, they are eating along with everyone else. That’s like the right-to-work law,” said Schneider. “They’re getting the full benefits of the union and enjoying the benefits of the union, but not paying their fair share. That increases the cost for everybody else.”
Economists say unions boost wages of organized workers by roughly 20 percent and raise compensation, including both wages and benefits, by about 28 percent. But if right-to-work laws continue to creep across the country, says Schneider, those good union wages, and the unions that bargained them, will be ultimately jeopardized.