If you want to keep your business union free, it’s important that your employees understand whether or not they reside in a right-to-work state. It’s a vital distinction – one that can determine their fate in the face of a union organizing drive. For employees, they’ve heard the term used on the news, and it’s easy to have a sense of what the term means… but not know exactly what it represents. As an employer, it’s virtually impossible to build a Union Proof culture if you don’t clearly explain what Right To Work means and how it applies to your employees.
What is Right to Work?
The phrase “right to work” actually dates back to 1902, and it sure seems catchy; it sounds like a guarantee of employment, right? In fact, it has nothing to do with whether you’re guaranteed to have and hold a job…
A Right to Work law allows employees to choose whether or not they want to join a union, even when that union has been recognized as their legal bargaining representative. In states that do not have Right to Work laws, if a union has a presence in that business, all non-management employees can be required to join the union and pay dues or “agency fees.” Unfortunately, employees in the railway and airline industries are not protected by Right to Work laws. As of this writing, 25 states and Guam have Right to Work laws, protecting employees from compulsory union membership in order to keep their job.
What Right to Work Means for Employees
In states (or in Kentucky, counties) without Right To Work laws, compulsory union dues can be used by unions to support political candidates with whom a union member might – or might not – agree. Over $11.5 billion are collected annually by private-sector unions, and some $4.5 billion of that is channeled into political campaigns. In addition, compulsory union membership robs workers of the ability to negotiate their personal pay and working conditions, since unions retain that exclusive right. Right to Work states have greater economic vitality and are filled with citizens with higher after-tax pay and purchasing power. Right to Work states are also more attractive to companies looking for hospitable locations and hoping to maintain a direct connection with employees.
Communicating About Right To Work
Until now, educating employees on what Right to Work really means for them has been a difficult task – on which most companies would be reluctant to spend time. There are articles and YouTube videos, but they are largely one-sided, or difficult to boil down to the true meaning. For any company working to create a Union Proof culture, the message needs to be factual and consistent. Now, the video, “Right to Work: Explained” provides exactly what employees need to understand as part of a Union Proof company culture, in under 7 minutes, leaving plenty of time for discussion and reinforcement of the company’s union-free operating philosophy.