MYTH: RTW is ‘Union Busting’

Unions will tell you that Right to Work is nothing but an attempt to ‘bust unions’ but this is a lie. All RTW does is allow workers the FREEDOM to choose whether they want to join a union or not without being coerced or forced thanks to union-supported government mandates.

If unions are as good as they claim to be, workers will choose to join. It’s as simple as that.

Unions in Right-to-Work states are actually stronger for their members because they have to be competitive.

From the Washington Examiner:

A recent report from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics showed that in 2015, unions in what were then 25 right-to-work states gained more members than the states without the law. Membership increased by 125,000 in right-to-work states and only 91,000 in non-right-to-work-states and Washington D.C.

These gains come despite the fact that non-right-to-work states have over 7 million more workers than right-to-work states, according to the BLS report.The Illinois Policy Institute reports that this may be part of a long-term trend and not a one- or two-year fluke. Between 2005 and 2015, union membership grew in right-to-work states by about 1.3 percent, but fell around 9 percent in non-right-to-work states.

Six of the 10 states with the biggest increases in union membership were right-to-work. Overall, union membership increased in 16 of the nation’s 25 right-to-work states in 2015. In contrast, nine of the 16 states with shrinking membership still permit unions to collect involuntary dues or fees.

Even in states that most recently enacted right-to-work, figures from the BLS sharply contrast with activists’ earlier warnings that unions would be devastated.

For example, Michigan’s right-to-work laws went into effect in early 2013 — and unions gained members that year. Membership did decline in 2014, but in 2015 unions in the state added 36,000 members. In nearby Indiana, union membership did fall last year, but there are still 37,000 more union members there than when right-to-work took effect in 2012.

So how does one explain this, especially considering the fact that today’s unions are opposed to right-to-work laws? First, it’s important to remember that right-to-work laws do nothing to diminish a union’s ability to organize a workplace or a worker’s ability to become a union member and pay dues. If employees feel that they can achieve better wages, benefits and working conditions through a union negotiator, no right-to-work law will stand in the way of them signing up for a union.

It may be that right-to-work actually makes unions stronger, because unions can no longer force all workers to financially support them. In order to win new members and keep current ones, unions in right-to-work states need to be more attentive and responsive to what workers care about most. In some ways, these unions face similar incentives to meet workers’ needs as any other business in the service industry does.