Right to work for less ain't a bonus

Few regular readers of this site need to be convinced about the harm "right to work" (for less) policies, which are at the core of the Republican Party's agenda, have on working families. I just wanted to point to a recent op-ed piece by Indiana AFL-CIO Pres. Nancy J. Guyott that puts some rhetorical ammunition in our belts in the fight against right to work laws.

In her piece, Guyott writes:

More people live in poverty in right-to-work  for less states, 19.1 percent compared to 16.6 percent in all other states.

Poverty is increasing more rapidly in right-to-work-for-less states, rising 7.4 percent in a decade in those states compared to 6 percent rise in all other states

Though median household incomes fell, on average, throughout the country during the failed policies of the Bush administration, families in right-to-work-for-less states today have $6,184 a year less in income compared to their counterparts in all other states.

More people live without health insurance in right-to-work-for-less states, 16.7 compared to 13.5 percent for people living in the remaining states. The number of people without health insurance in right-to-work-for-less states is rising nearly 70 percent faster than in other states, 3.2 percent compared to 1.9 percent from 2000 to 2009.

Similarly, a 2006 study by Indiana University's Division of Labor Studies found that Hoosier workers could see a drop of 16 percent in weekly wages, if Indiana takes the low-road right-to-work-for-less strategy.

Lower wages, higher poverty rates, less access to healthcare – and as she also notes elsewhere in the article, anti-union laws have NOT created job growth – mean higher profits for corporations – the same corporation who at the drop of the hat will still outsource to other countries. They do not mean higher living standards for working families or stronger, more stable communities.

Simply put, anti-union laws mean more social problems and fewer resources to fix them. This is the Republican Party's agenda.

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  • Good piece Joel
    We should remember that the anti-union shop provisions of the Taft-Hartley law(1947) which gave states the right to establish such laws which limit workers rights, was put over in the same law that sought to ban CPUSA members from any leadership position in any union and force all union officials to sign an oath every year that they were not CPUSA members(the only part of the Taft-Hartley law that was ever really eliminated).
    Befisdes the diferential rates in poverty, which are very important, the act also led to lower wages and salaries for great majority of workers which, along with less health care and pension rights means a significantly lower standard of living. This laws encouraged corporation to move first to these cheaper labor states which had the general effect of limiting income and benefit growth for the whole working class. The Employee Free Choice Act would be the first really significant blow to Taft Hartley in terms of workers general rights since it was enacted 63 years ago.
    While the Democrats never repealed Taft-Hartley, which htey promised to do in 1948 and kept as a part of their platform until 1988(and they have been derelect in carrying forward Employee Free Choice) the Republicans on the other hand are united in their opposition to any pro labor opposition. If they could, the sort of characters running in this election would repeal the whole national labor relations act, social security, unemployment insurance, the fair labor standards act which established minimum wages, the forty hour week, and overtime pay rules, in the of "freedom from "big government."

    Posted by norman markowitz, 10/13/2010 6:32pm (7 years ago)

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