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“RIGHT TO WORK” VS. THE RIGHTS OF WORKERS

“RIGHT TO WORK” VS. THE RIGHTS OF WORKERS

ABSTRACT

The long-running battle over “right-to-work” (RTW)legislation reappeared recently in Indiana. The Indiana Chamber of Commerce, in a recent report, contends that the growth of realpersonal income in RTW states has been higher thanin non-RTW states. Their argument is thatRTW laws lead to lower wages in RTW states, which attracts businesses to locate in those states. The increased business presence leads to higher income growth, which in turn leads – in the longrun – to higher productivity and higher wages in the state.

We find the Chamber’s arguments unpersuasive. Obviously there are businesses that are attracted to low-wage areas, but in our current global economy it is a risky strategy for a state to think it can compete with workers in developing countries who are paid much less. Moreover, many companies reject the “low-road” approach of low wages and make location decisions on other criteria, like the quality of the work force, infrastructure, and quality of life. Read more

ADDRESS OF HIS HOLINESS JOHN PAUL II TO AN INTERNATIONAL CONFERENCE FOR REPRESENTATIVES OF TRADE UNIONS

 

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 ADDRESS OF HIS HOLINESS JOHN PAUL II
TO AN INTERNATIONAL CONFERENCE
FOR REPRESENTATIVES OF TRADE UNIONS
 

Hall of Popes
Monday, December 2, 1996

Ladies and Gentlemen,

1. I extend to you a heartfelt welcome and thank you for having accepted the invitation of the Pontifical Council for Justice and Peace to take part in this meeting which is reflecting on the reality of the economy and the role of labour associations and unions in the defence and promotion of the dignity of workers.  I am grateful to Cardinal Roger Etchegaray and his staff for the generous willingness with which they follow the complex social and economic questions of our day. This meeting with you, distinguished union representatives from many parts of the world, gives me the opportunity to encourage you in your commitment, with the conviction that “work is a fundamental dimension of man’s existence on earth” (John Paul II, Laborem Exercens, 4). Read more

“Right to Work” Laws: Get the Facts

 

“Right to Work” Laws: Get the Facts

What is a “right to work” law?

Despite its misleading name, this type of law does not guarantee anyone a job and it does not protect against unfair firing.  By undermining unions, so-called “Right to Work” laws would weaken the best job security protections workers have – the union contract.

A “right to work” law is a state law that stops employers and employees from negotiating an agreement – also known as a union security clause – that requires all workers who receive the benefits of a collective bargaining agreement to pay their share of the costs of representing them.  Right to Work laws say that unions must represent every eligible employee, whether he or she pays dues or not.  In other words, “Right to Work” laws allow workers to pay nothing and still get all the benefits of union membership.

“Right to Work” laws aren’t fair to dues-paying members.  If a worker who is represented by a union and doesn’t pay dues is fired illegally, the union must use its time and money to defend him or her, even if that requires going through a costly, time-consuming legal process.  Since the union represents everyone, everyone benefits, so everyone should share in the costs of providing these services.  Amazingly, nonmembers who are represented by a union can even sue the union is they think it has not represented them well enough! Read more