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We Are Free to Exploit You

Topics: Current Events

Those who would like to dismantle labor unions are on the attack. As more states consider enacting right to work laws, people on both sides of the argument are disseminating information and misinformation in an attempt to rally others to their cause. It’s too easy to lose sight of the forest for the trees. It’s good to know who is behind efforts to disable unions and what their full agenda is.

(Photo Credit: DonkeyHotey/Flickr)

Union Spending

Do You Know What You're Worth?

The motto of Workplace Choice is “liberating labor, one worker at a time.” They are currently faulting labor unions for funding efforts to educate workers about the benefits of organized labor. Because Workplace Choice wants people to avoid joining labor unions, they consider this a waste of money.

People on the pro right-to-work side argue that forcing people to pay union dues is unfair. They are trying to paint a picture of greedy union organizers wasting labor dues on expensive campaigns.

Unions are spending that money to educate the public, in response to lobbying efforts by business groups in at least three states to get a right-to-work issue in front of voters. According to the Lansing State Journal, we could be looking at literally millions spent on both sides of the debate. If the unions don’t educate the public, the public will likely vote against the unions.

Competitive Enterprise

One way to get an accurate picture of what is happening, we may consider who is behind the fight against labor unions, and what their agenda is. Workplace Choice is a project funded by the Competitive Enterprise Institute for Free Market and Limited Government. Their general agenda is to reduce any and all regulations and limitations on what free people can do. In the workplace, that means dismantling labor unions and giving employers the freedom to set low wages and less than optimal working conditions. Without the benefit of collective bargaining, employees will have little power to improve their working conditions.

Competitive Enterprise has more pet projects than just Workplace Choice, including a Global Warming project that is against EPA restrictions and an Open Market Blog which looks down its nose at government attempts to protect children’s privacy online and video programming for blind people, among other things. They fault the Federal Register for being big, or just for existing in the first place.

Rules and Regulation

All rules and regulations are not necessarily great ideas, but at the same time, not all rules and regulations are evil and designed to give business owners headaches.

The issue in right-to-work states is whether or not joining a union may be a requirement for employment. Employers don’t want employees to unionize because they have to pay union members more money. Benefits of union membership may far outpace the dues members must pay, and business owners stand to make a lot more money by convincing employees that unions are too expensive for members. Employer’s freedom must end where public health, safety, and ability to make an honest living begins. Organized labor groups ensure that employers are not free to exploit their employees.

Tell Us What You Think

Do you think workers should be free to decline union membership? We want to hear from you! Leave a comment or join the discussion on Twitter.

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Beth Taylor

Thank you for commenting; I am so glad to hear you are in the carpenters union and it is going well. 

Ashley F McDonald
Ashley F McDonald

Worked non union for years join the carpenters union in 2001 and its the best thing I ever did. My wife and three of my sons are all proud members of local 1996 Maine, please keep up the good work!!!

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