James Sherk on Right to Work Laws

James Sherk, explains the value of Right to Work laws, and reviews campaigns for more laws across the country.  He is a Senior Policy Analyst at the Heritage Foundation.

Eighteen-year-old Saira Blair recently made history as the youngest person elected to the West Virginia legislature. She may make history again as a lawmaker by securing passage of a right-to-work law.

In New Mexico, lawmakers — Democrats and Republicans — are also considering right-to-work. The Republican state senate minority leader says they have the votes to pass it, and the state house may, too. Gov. Susanna Martinez would certainly sign such a law.

Wisconsin lawmakers also plan to introduce right-to-work legislation that Gov. Scott Walker would undoubtedly sign.

These states have good reason to pass right-to-work laws. They expand personal freedom. Without them, union contracts force workers to pay dues or get fired. This compels workers to pay hundreds of dollars annually to organizations whose agendas they often oppose. Last year, for example, several major unions donated to America’s largest abortion provider. Their members had little say in the matter.

Mandatory dues also drive businesses away. Union organizers become much more persistent in states without right-to-work. In those states a successful organizing drive means a perpetual stream of forced dues from every employee. Most companies, however, would prefer not to get unionized. The prospect of aggressive organizing causes them to take their businesses elsewhere.