Point of View
Right To Work Controversy
By Trevor Roberts
Dec 6, 2012 - 6:50:14 PM

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UNITED STATES—The “Right To Work” controversy is gaining more steam across the nation as more and more states are implementing the laws.  The biggest concern for Americans who are employed by unions is the fear that with the implementation of right-to-work laws that it affects their ability to negotiate contracts and fair wages with their employer.  Being someone who is employed by a union it’s understandable; to some degree there is a shield of protection from employers just being able to fire an employee without just cause. 

 

For some companies, they can let you go at any time without any reasonable cause; point blank, your services are no longer needed and you’re gone.  That is a fear that many employees face when they are employed by companies that have no union backing.  Most unions tend to fight for employees rights.  The ability to negotiate contracts for pay raises, unfair tactics in advancement at the company and a countless sleuth of other issues that arise at the work place are important.

 

A concern for many employees is the idea of having union dues deducted from their check each week or every month that could be extra income used towards something else.  Especially in the case of an employee who feels the union does not fight for what they are asking for.  It’s completely understandable.  I know a group of people who became employed by another company after a takeover. 

 

That company chose to keep only a select few employees and they were under probation for 120 days.  They explained to me it was the most tumultuous four months in their life; they weren’t in a union yet, so any misstep or problem would lead to their walking papers.  The frightening thing about that situation is that the employer was well aware of the situation and took advantage of it.  People were getting terminated left and right. 

 

What I found troubling from the employees is that on the day before they would become apart of the union, the employer terminated close to 20 people.  Why did they terminate those people?  Take a wild guess.  They knew after those employees became apart of the union it would be difficult to terminate them without cause. Furthermore, they wanted to cut cost and get rid of people making higher wages and replace them with new employees who would do the same job, just for a lesser pay. 

 

So the issue with right-to-work laws is that is goal is to dismantle the power of unions, but at the same time to ensure workers that nothing changes with the law, if anything it may increase your minimum wage that is currently being earned.  That wage is expected to significantly increase a worker’s earning potential to help the cost of living in various regions throughout the country.  Right-to-work laws have already been passed in a majority of South as well as Western states in the U.S.  More states are attempting to pass legislation that would place these laws intact, but Americans are well aware of the backlash of these laws being passed and are being vehemently ambitious to ensure that it does not happen. 

 

The law in my opinion is misleading.  Is a right-to-work law stating anyone who wants to work has the right to?  If that’s the case anyone applying for a job with a company in a state that has a right-to-work law should be granted the opportunity to work for that company.  Unfortunately, we are all well aware that is not the case.  Unions are in place for a reason.  They protect workers from unfair tactics implemented by an employer which is something that is needed.



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